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Canada injects $75 million into BHP’s Jansen potash mine

Mining.Com - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 03:19

The government of Canada is investing C$100 million ($75m) to support the development of BHP’s low-emissions Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan, about 140 km east of Saskatoon. 

The cash injection will be made through the Strategic Innovation Fund and forms part of Canada’s efforts to help its mining sector transition toward a low-carbon economy.

BHP is seeking to accelerate construction at its only potash project as high gas prices and sanctions on key exporters continue to disrupt global supplies of fertilizers.

The world’s largest miner is building Jansen in stages, with the first phase estimated to cost $5.7 billion. 

The company had originally planned to kick off production at the underground potash mine in 2027. Market conditions, however, have prompted it to attempt bringing forward Stage 1 first production into 2026. Jansen is expected to yield 4.35 million tonnes of potash per year.

This means BHP will need as many as 2,500 people on site this year, in which the company expects to pour concrete foundations for the mill and other processing and storage facilities to start erecting steel structures.

Canada Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said the investment shows how much the federal government is committed to Saskatchewan as well as to Canada’s mining and agricultural sectors. 

“We know how critical potash is for our country when it comes to food security,” he said, adding that the project will lead to the creation of hundreds jobs for Canadians while also encouraging green initiatives in the mining industry.

Upon commissioning, the mine is expected to increase Canada’s critical mineral production by nearly 22%, making it one of the world’s top producers.

Quarter of global supply

Potash is seen by farmers as an attractive resource because of its use as fertilizer, which also boosts drought tolerance and improves crop quality. 

BHP expects potash demand to increase by 15 million tonnes to roughly 105 million tonnes by 2040, or 1.5% to 3% a year, along with the global population and pressure to improve farming yields given limited land supply. 

Jansen had the potential to produce 17 million tonnes a year under a four phased development. This would account for about 25% of current global potash demand.

The mine is the first new underground potash operation built in 30 years in Saskatchewan and will be the world’s largest, once completed.

On es situa Europa en la cursa tecnològica entre els Estats Units i la Xina?

Green European Journal - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 03:06

A mesura que els Estats Units i la Xina competeixen pel poder i la influència mundials, aquesta també augmenta i és més intensa en l’àmbit de la tecnologia. Igual que el flux d’informació digital, la fabricació, el comerç i l’ús d’aquesta tecnologia traspassa les fronteres nacionals. Asma Mhalla parla amb Edouard Gaudot sobre com Europa ha intentat imposar-se a través de la regulació com a resposta a aquesta escalada, en un intent de fer complir les seves normes i protegir la privacitat i les dades dels seus ciutadans.

Edouard Gaudot: Com veu l’últim anunci del President dels Estats Units, Joe Biden, de restringir les vendes de semiconductors a empreses xineses? Quina és la seva importància industrial i geopolítica?

Asma Mhalla: En primer lloc, hem de situar les coses en el seu context. No es tracta d’una ordre executiva puntual, sinó d’una sèrie de decisions preses en aquest àmbit des de finals d’agost que han d’entendre’s en el context d’una competència estratègica més àmplia i prolongada entre els Estats Units i la Xina que es remunta a l’Administració Obama. Els semiconductors són microxips essencials per al funcionament de determinats aparells com  telèfons, ordinadors personals, microones i automòbils: són el seu cervell.

En el món dels semiconductors hi ha diverses generacions: els més antics són més amples i els més recents més fins: uns 3 nanòmetres en l’actualitat, amb l’objectiu d’arribar als 2 nanòmetres. Constitueixen el sistema nerviós de gran part de l’economia digital. A més, són per naturalesa tecnologies “duals”, és a dir, tant civils com militars. Per tant, són estratègiques. Durant la crisi de la COVID-19, els problemes en la cadena de subministrament van alertar a totes les economies del món, inclosa l’europea, de la seva vulnerabilitat en aquest àmbit, en particular la seva dependència de la Xina.

A finals d’agost, Biden va signar la Llei XIPS i Ciència, que destina 54.000 milions de dòlars a la indústria dels semiconductors. Es tracta de deslocalitzar la producció als Estats Units i tancar la bretxa de disseny de les darreres generacions de microxips. Aquest ambiciós pla governamental pretén dotar als Estats Units de la màxima independència, atès que el país és actualment importador d’aquesta tecnologia. A més, la prohibició de les exportacions pretén frenar la transferència de tecnologia a la Xina, especialment la d’elevat valor. Sanciona a les persones i empreses que ajudin a l’economia xinesa en aquest sentit, a més de prohibir a les empreses xineses invertir en aquest sector als EUA. És una mesura proteccionista que desglobalitza la cadena de valor d’aquesta indústria.

Quin és l’impacte d’aquesta seqüència d’esdeveniments a Europa?

En l’actualitat, la cadena de subministrament de semiconductors es reparteix entre sis grans països: la Xina, Taiwan, Corea del Sud, Japó, els Estats Units i Països Baixos. La Xina continental produeix i dissenya generacions antigues, però en petites quantitats i, per tant, a un valor inferior. L’empresa taiwanesa TSMC és líder del sector, mentre que Corea del Sud té a Samsung. Els Estats Units és líder en patents. A Europa, ASML (Països Baixos) és líder en disseny i produeix tecnologia ultraviolada avançada que permet fabricar nanochips. Existeixen interconnexions i interdependències entre dissenyadors i productors en sis centres. Gràcies als Països Baixos, que se situa en un microsegment clau, Europa no s’ha quedat enrere, però aquestes recents decisions han polititzat i militaritzat la indústria i han exercit pressió política sobre Europa.

La Xina està fent el mateix, però els Estats Units ha adoptat un enfocament més agressiu, i Taiwan es va convertir  aquest estiu en el camp de batalla, quan Nancy Pelosi va fer una visita oficial. Una de les primeres parades del seu itinerari va ser TSMC, que també ha obert una fàbrica a Arizona, fet que subratlla l’estratègia dirigida a la deslocalització cap als Estats Units i l’avanç cap a la sobirania tecnològica.

Per la seva part, Europa no té sobirania en aquesta indústria. ASML i l’empresa franc-italiana STMicroelectronics, centrada en les generacions grans, no compensen la manca de visió i la bretxa ha crescut en aquest àmbit. Europa va pel darrere dels Estats Units. D’això se’n va adonar durant la pandèmia. D’aquí ve que la Comissió Europea llancés el “Pla Breton” per a destinar 54.000 milions d’euros a una Llei XIPS europea.

Europa s ‘enfronta a dos reptes: el primer, reduir la seva dependència dels EUA per no haver-se de posar a la cua quan es tracta de defensar els interessos estatunidencs, fet que amenaçaria la cerca d’equilibri en les tensions Sino-estatunidenques. Aquest dilema de seguretat es va posar de manifest amb l’episodi d’Huawei durant l’administració Trump. Amb els  semiconductors, existeix el mateix risc. Per exemple, la cadena de producció de ASML està totalment integrada en els tres continents: si una de les parts interessades deixa de cooperar, tota la cadena es paralitza.

Així que el segon repte és: quin bàndol triar si no es té independència i capacitat per a negar-se a prendre partit en aquesta confrontació? Finalment, Biden segueix amb la  política agressiva i proteccionista de Trump d’una manera lleugerament més educada. Perquè Trump no va arribar a signar ordres executives prohibint, aïllant i bloquejant el desenvolupament a la Xina.

Així que la presa de Taiwan no és només un objectiu geoestratègic de la Xina per a accedir a l’Oceà Pacífic; també es tracta de controlar una baula clau en la cadena de valor dels semiconductors?

Taiwan és, sens dubte, abans de res una qüestió territorial per a Pequín. Però TSMC i Taiwan simbolitzen perfectament el “dilema de seguretat” entorn dels semiconductors. Tota la cadena de valor mundial de la indústria es veuria abocada al col·lapse en cas d’un atac xinès. Les restriccions que Washington està imposant a la Xina poden provocar una major tensió geopolítica i territorial entorn de Taiwan. Per exemple, a principis d’any, el conseller delegat de TSMC, Mark Liu, va amenaçar de sabotejar l’empresa si la Xina l’envaïa. I, paradoxalment, estan estimulant a la Xina a accelerar el desenvolupament de les seves pròpies capacitats.

El problema d’Europa és que no té les tecnologies, així que el compensa amb normes per a les indústries.

El segon àmbit de tensió transatlàntica és la regulació del núvol i les transferències de dades. En aquest cas, la tecnologia xoca amb l’Estat de Dret perquè les dades s’utilitzen de forma diferent en ambdós costats de l’Atlàntic. Quins creu que són els problemes que planteja aquesta tensió i quines solucions veu?

Aquesta és una altra qüestió molt complicada. Des que el Tribunal de Justícia de la Unió Europea va invalidar l’Escut de la Privacitat (un marc que protegeix les dades personals dels ciutadans de la UE quan es transfereixen als Estats Units amb finalitats comercials), necessitem un acord que garanteixi als europeus un tracte equivalent en termes de seguretat als Estats Units. Per què és problemàtic? Perquè algunes de les nostres dades passen pel núvol als Estats Units, on la CLOUD Act i la FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] permeten a les agències federals estatunidenques accedir a les dades personals dels ciutadans europeus.

Un recent informe encarregat pel Ministeri holandès de Justícia i Seguretat va demostrar que aquest exemple d’extraterritorialitat estatunidenc era encara més intrusiu del que es pensava. Avui dia, la sobirania tecnològica europea és molt limitada, especialment quan es tracta del núvol: la infraestructura que permet allotjar, emmagatzemar i, sobretot, explotar dades gràcies a una capa SaaS [mètode de prestació de serveis basat en el núvol, com Netflix] potenciada per la intel·ligència artificial (IA), que està en la base de la creació del valor econòmic. No obstant això, en aquest món del núvol, els actors més avançats en IA o fins i tot en ciberseguretat són estatunidencs. El mercat europeu -i francès- està bàsicament controlat per AWS, Microsoft Atzur i Google.

La invalidació de l’Escut de la privacitat pel TJUE es va basar en la sentència que la seguretat oferta pels EUA a les dades dels ciutadans europeus diferia massa de l’exigida a la UE. Des de llavors, hi ha hagut un buit legal, i per això s’esperava amb impaciència l’ordre executiva d’octubre. És un text molt intel·ligent. Respon a les crítiques a l’Escut de la privacitat proporcionant un procés i punts de contacte administratius per a salvaguardar els drets consagrats en el GDPR o recursos en cas de recerca. Però a banda d’això, no fa res per a canviar la posició ultradominant dels EUA a través de les seves grans empreses tecnològiques, en particular les que controlen la infraestructura del núvol: si ja no hi ha cap obstacle legal per al flux de dades en les mateixes condicions de seguretat, llavors el mercat pot continuar funcionant sense canvis i continuarà utilitzant AWS i Atzur. Des d’aquest punt de vista, la llei -americana, en aquest cas- és una arma al servei del poder estatunidenc.

Amb aquest text, alguns dels arguments esgrimits per les empreses franceses i europees del núvol s’han girat en contra seva. Els Estats Units ha respost a les crítiques i a les disposicions de la legislació europea. El que està en joc, és una lluita de poder asimètrica i un estira-i-arronsa entre la sobirania estatunidenca i la perspectiva de la sobirania europea, on la qüestió clau de la seguretat de les infraestructures i les dades és, i serà, crucial en el compromís polític.

La competència amb els Estats Units pel lideratge tecnològic és, doncs, generalitzada i afavoreix poc a la UE. Malgrat això, hi ha un àmbit en el qual Europa sí que és líder: les tecnologies verdes i el seu paper en la transició ecològica. Però, disposa Europa dels mitjans necessaris per a aconseguir les seves ambicions?

El problema en totes aquestes qüestions és el mateix: quina és la visió? En tecnologia verda, semiconductors i el núvol, Europa està en una posició de relativa feblesa. Sense un estat estratègic, com la Xina o els EUA, mai l’aconseguirem. Tret que la UE tingui una visió coherent i estratègica dels mecanismes i ecosistemes, no podrà participar en el joc entre la Xina i els Estats Units. En el seu lloc, acabarà sent el premi. Fonamentalment, no es tracta de desenvolupar tecnologia verda. Es tracta de dedicar temps a analitzar cada indústria, una per una, per a identificar els seus actius, punts forts i febles, i com incorporar-la a la cadena de valor tecnològic per a fer-la indispensable.

Per a Europa no es tracta tant de la seva sobirania en sentit estricte com de la seva autonomia estratègica: la seva capacitat per a mantenir l’equilibri de poder amb aliats i adversaris per igual.

Un dels problemes de la tecnologia no és la tecnologia en si mateixa. És la ideologia que hi ha darrere; la visió del món, les regles, les normes que es promouen en el disseny de la tecnologia. La qüestió d’Europa és que no té les tecnologies, així que ho compensa amb normes per a les indústries. Així ho il·lustren la Llei de Serveis Digitals (DSA) i la Llei de Mercats Digitals (DMA) [regulació a escala de la UE de les plataformes en línia, que abasta els continguts il·legals, la publicitat i la desinformació, i regulació dels mercats digitals per a promoure pràctiques justes, respectivament].

L’objectiu d’aquestes lleis, sense entrar en els detalls, era abordar clarament el problema de la sobirania enfront dels gegantescos gatekeepers estatunidencs. La DSA territorialitza i ancora a les empreses transnacionals amb arrels estatunidenques. Això significa que quan plataformes com Facebook, Google, Twitter i Amazon operen a Europa, estan subjectes als valors, normes i reglaments europeus. Des d’aquest punt de vista, es tracta de “sobirania normativa defensiva”: estem compensant la manca de sobirania industrial ofensiva mantenint el control sobre les empreses estatunidenques.

En aquesta fase, hem d’acompanyar aquesta visió de la sobirania normativa amb una política industrial i tecnològica específica amb l’objectiu d’evitar els efectes nocius d’una dispersió excessiva dels recursos pressupostaris. Això implica inevitablement prendre decisions que no són fàcils, inclús renunciar a certes coses. En poques paraules, coratge polític.

Cal traçar una delicada línia per al respecte de la llibertat d’expressió en els espais públics.

El multimilionari Elon Musk ha comprat recentment Twitter, el principal fòrum de debat polític a Occident. Quines implicacions té per a la Unió Europea la compra d’aquesta influent empresa de mitjans de comunicació?

És essencial separar el context jurídic i polític dels Estats Units i el de la Unió Europea. És divertit veure com Europa està important el pànic (justificat) estatunidenc. És un biaix de font perquè les nostres fonts són el New York Times, el Washington Post, etc.

No obstant això, els marcs jurídics i les filosofies són completament diferents. Als EUA tenim una visió maximalista de la llibertat d’expressió, consagrada en la primera esmena constitucional, que protegeix la llibertat d’expressió de les mateixes plataformes, per tant, les seves latituds amb moderació. A Europa, per contra, tenim una llibertat d’expressió molt més normalitzada i regulada, i les salvaguardes són molt més clares: les estableix la DSA, que entrarà en vigor d’aquí a uns mesos. Així que a Twitter no tenen via lliure des del punt de vista jurídic a Europa, sinó que estaran subjectes a la DSA i, si s’escau, a les jurisdiccions nacionals. A França, per exemple, la llei de llibertat de premsa de 1881, la llei penal i tot el corpus jurídic sobre lleis contra les notícies falses, la desinformació i la retirada de continguts terroristes són algunes de les lleis aplicables. Així que, en teoria, les polítiques entorn de la moderació, la responsabilitat i la rendició de comptes de les plataformes seran completament diferents dels Estats Units i a Europa.

Un problema que es plantejarà a Europa és la viabilitat d’aplicar i fer complir la DSA, que no és gens senzilla. La governança està encara en construcció i la qüestió dels recursos financers i humans i de les competències dels organismes reguladors tampoc està resolta. És fonamental perquè el text sigui operatiu.

L’altre aspecte, no legal, que va aparèixer quan Musk va anunciar l’adquisició, es refereix a la prohibició de comptes que difonguin teories conspiratives o d’extrema dreta. No podem posar un moderador darrere de cada ciutadà, això seria òbviament una bogeria, però perseguir diàriament els continguts que inciten a l’odi és tot un repte. En aquests temps en què es parla molt de la “splinternet” i de la descomposició de l’esfera informativa en blocs ideològics, la qüestió fonamental per a les democràcies liberals és com protegir-se dels abusos i articular el seu contracte social i l’Estat de Dret entorn de la tecnologia. Cal traçar una línia delicada per al respecte de la llibertat d’expressió en els espais públics.

Però així i tot, cal distingir entre el cas europeu i l’estatunidenc.

Categories: H. Green News

Montana’s anti-Indigenous politics aren’t going away

High Country News - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 01:00
The now-dead proposal to ‘investigate’ reservations was neither the beginning or the end of combative attitudes towards tribal nations in the state.
Categories: H. Green News

FossilFreeNews – Can you feel the New Year energy?

350.org - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 00:30

This newsletter is also available in French and Spanish.

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Well since we’re still in January, I want to wish you a year filled with new adventures and great fortune.

I believe entering a new year has a touch of magic to it, bringing us the opportunity to refresh, regroup and renew our goals, skills, ideas and more. Especially for us in the climate movement as we focus on planning, campaigns, actions and other exciting stuff. This fulfilling movement always seems to be on the go, a few stops here and there to catch a breath. Though through and through, there is always momentum from corner to corner, giving us an extraordinary gift to unite; mobilise under a common umbrella of justice.

Thank you for being back to our newsletter and we’ll see you again next month.

Why don’t you join our Fossil Free mailing list for all the latest stories on climate organizing from around the world? Stories that matter. Campaigns that inspire. All delivered directly to you every month!

SIGN UP HERE

 

In Case You Missed It Oil CEO to lead COP28

Yes, you’re definitely reading it right!

The year for COP28 has heard some very controversial news when it was announced early this month that oil executive Sultan al-Jaber has been appointed as President of this year’s UN climate treaty negotiations at COP28 in Dubai.

Activists have raised their concerns with obvious reasons, this is a conflict of interest at the highest level. Some compare it to a “wolf watching over sheep”, or my favorite “inviting Marlboro (or any famous cigarette brand) to a Cancer Conference”.

Now back to COP28, the role of the President at the UN summit focuses on setting the tone and agenda. What we then ask, how can an oil company executive really integrate fossil fuel interests while maintaining the urgency of fighting climate change in these crucial days?

Stay tuned! We too, are curious to see how things will pan out. And even more motivated to ensure that the climate movement stays focused on bringing an end to the fossil fuel era.

An endangered village vs climate chaos

The German village Lützerath is on the verge of being swallowed by the Garzweiler coal mine expansion that is run by RWE, Germany’s largest power company.

The devastating news was making waves in the climate movement as the evacuation of the village brought on solidarity actions to prevent the destruction. Seeing the numbers not only in the village of Lützerath, but in other parts of Germany brings hope to the climate movement. When people step up, our voices are heard. Those voices are screaming for accountability and the need for climate and social justice for the village.

Photo credit:@unwisemonkeys

Atlanticazo goes back to the streets to defend the sea

Early this month, thousands of people took the streets of Buenos Aires again, to protest against offshore oil drilling under the banner of the Atlanticazo movement. The march marked the one year anniversary since the first mobilizations, in January 2022, and were motivated by the recent approval by the government for seismic exploration projects, with the intention of checking the feasibility of oil drilling in the sea by the coast close to Mar del Plata.

Naturally such upsetting news would bring mobilisations of communities and socio-environmental, who had won last year a precautionary measure against such kind of projects – that was now revoked. The call to halt such destructive projects is for social and climate justice. The threat is big, habitats will be destroyed, sources of work lost, and any oil spill will leave irreparable damage to the sea.

People will not back down, they will continue to come together in solidarity for the protection of the sea.

Building the pressure for Canada’s Just Transition Act

As Parliament opened their doors for the year, word on the street is that the Trudeau government has set to introduce long-promised Just Transition legislation in early 2023 and it’s in the media spotlight like never before. And while this is certainly good and big news, the climate movement in Canada is working hard to ensure that the legislation meets both the breath, ambition and urgency that is required to halt the climate crisis.

The Big Oil is not saving money on spreading misinformation, and some politicians have been signalling that the Just Transition Act might not be as bold as people hope for. Wasting no time, this was the perfect opportunity for us to respond with Letter-to-Editor actions, spreading the word through local newspapers to build pressure on Parliament, to fight the forces of climate denial and delay and share the vision that a Just Transition that is based on science, guarantees good and green jobs and puts people over profit is possible!

One to Watch

The year is 2023, a year where the climate movement continues to hold climate polluters accountable.

The future looks a lot like renewable energy, sustainable finance, rooted on justice. Using these principles, the vision is to come together not just to mobilise but share those skills and build resilience with climate justice at the heart of it all.

A just and equitable transition is possible. The future is in our hands, let’s invest in it.

Watch Here Watch Here USE YOUR POWER

Kick the fossil fuel industry out of politics!

Can you imagine what that world would look like? As we’re faced with the soaring energy prices, the fossil fuel lobby is spending millions to sabotage policies that would help us cope. Policies that would bring about a just transition and a sustainable future.

The industry is out to make profits, and their focus isn’t on us or the climate chaos caused by the industry. But no more!

Our team in Europe is calling for its leaders to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry. Help us kick them out!

Sign the Petition Sign the Petition SKILL UP YOUR ACTIVISM

New year, new skills right!

To kick off the year, the Social Movement Technologies have some cool amazing training and coaching sessions planned out for the first quarter of the year.

If you’re reading this and you’re a campaigner or an activist, please take the time to really look at the resources offered. I don’t think it’s too late in the month to have another new year resolution under your belt. If anything, send it to that friend of yours who has been wanting to learn more and do more. Let this be that sign.

IN OTHER NEWS

Quote of the month

“We would urge the UAE government to really listen to the cries of the people: women in the Congo forest; Indigenous people in Africa; smallholder farmers whose crops are withered away because there is no rainfall and the thousands of people in the Horn of Africa who are facing starvation as a result of the changing climate. We may not have the power of money, but the power of the people will prevail.”

– Mithika Mwenda,

Co-founder and Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

The post FossilFreeNews – Can you feel the New Year energy? appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Dal potere d’acquisto alla possibilità di una vita dignitosa

Green European Journal - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 00:00

L’ecologia politica ha sempre posto l’accento sulle misure a lungo termine, ma oggi i partiti ambientalisti al potere devono, a qualsiasi livello, fornire soluzioni d’emergenza che migliorino le attuali politiche sociali, economiche ed energetiche pensate per condizioni climatiche non più d’attualità. La presente serie di contributi riunisce testimonianze da Austria, Belgio, Croazia, Francia e Scozia, per illustrare in che modo i partiti ecologisti al governo stanno portando avanti, non senza decisioni difficili né compromessi, politiche volte a far fronte alla crisi nell’immediato senza abbandonare una visione più ampia di cambiamento.

In Belgio si assiste oggi all’impennata dei prezzi del gas e dell’elettricità, con il rischio di una crisi sociale senza precedenti. In caso vi fossero ancora dubbi, queste contingenze evidenziano ancora una volta che giustizia sociale e protezione dell’ambiente sono due facce della stessa medaglia.

Nel 2020, il 21,5 per cento della popolazione belga soffre di povertà energetica, intesa come l’impossibilità ad accedere all’energia essenziale a costi accettabili e allineati al reddito. A partire dallo stesso anno, i prezzi imposti alle famiglie dal principale fornitore belga di energia domestica sono aumentati vertiginosamente. Senza un calmiere sui prezzi, i titolari di contratti energetici a tasso variabile rischiano di veder duplicare o addirittura quadruplicare le proprie fatture. Dato lo stretto legame tra prezzi dell’energia e povertà energetica, ci si aspetta che un numero sempre più elevato di famiglie non sarà in grado di soddisfare i propri bisogni primari. Molti appartenenti alla “classe operaia” non riescono più a stare al passo con l’aumento delle bollette, e si rivolgono ai servizi di assistenza sociale in cerca d’aiuto. La situazione non farà che peggiorare man mano che scadono i contratti di energia a prezzo fisso.

La politica belga sta tentando di apportare soluzioni a diversi livelli (i Verdi sono nella maggioranza sia a livello federale, che nelle amministrazioni della Vallonia e di Bruxelles). Dal loro punto di vista, sono necessari tre tipi di misure: supporto energetico per gli individui e per le aziende, misure strutturali che garantiscano sia un aumento dei salari in linea con l’inflazione che una ridistribuzione graduale, e investimenti nella transizione ecologica. La sfida, partendo da finanze ristrette, è equilibrare le azioni a breve termine con l’accelerazione della transizione ecologica. Per soddisfare questo obiettivo di ampio respiro esistono due principali soluzioni: un supporto mirato alle aziende e alle famiglie per la rimessa a nuovo e la coibentazione di edifici e abitazioni da una parte, e investimenti in energie rinnovabili, mobilità sostenibile, e altri vettori del cambiamento dall’altra. I Verdi puntano a raccogliere i fondi necessari per attuare queste misure imponendo tasse sui profitti alle principali compagnie energetiche.

A partire dal 2021, l’adozione di una “tariffa sociale” ha portato significative riduzioni dei prezzi di elettricità e gas per le famiglie a basso reddito. Tramite l’intervento del governo, è stato introdotto un tetto sui prezzi a supporto di questa fascia della popolazione: lo Stato paga infatti al fornitore una parte importante dell’ammontare della bolletta. Il 20 per cento della popolazione belga che beneficia di questa sovvenzione è composto dagli individui più vulnerabili della società, ovvero gli aventi diritto agli aiuti sociali e coloro con un reddito annuale al di sotto dei 23.680,87 euro.

Anche le sempre più indebolite classi medie riceveranno aiuti statali come bonus, lo statuto di “consumatori protetti”, il divieto della sospensione dell’erogazione di gas ed elettricità e la fine dell’indicizzazione dei canoni di affitto per le abitazioni mal isolate termicamente. Inoltre, il sistema belga di indicizzazione automatica dei salari rafforza il reddito reale e aumenta la resilienza di fronte all’inflazione. Anche le aziende possono beneficiare di assistenza statale che le aiuti a far fronte agli alti costi energetici e all’indicizzazione automatica dei salari (che si attesta intorno al 10 per cento). In alcune circostanze, le aziende hanno la possibilità di mettere i dipendenti in cassa integrazione, rimandare il pagamento dei contributi o di altre spese, e richiedere aiuti sporadici.

I Verdi hanno anche contrattato investimenti nella transizione ecologica, nella forma soprattutto di investimenti offshore nell’energia eolica, e previsto modifiche agli edifici privati e commerciali per ridurre la dipendenza dal gas russo. Iniziare ad investire oggi è inevitabile, non solo per raggiungere i livelli neutri di carbone prefissati ma anche per riuscire a spendere meno in futuro. L’energia meno cara è quella che non utilizziamo.

All’interno di una situazione di crisi energetica e sociale, gli ecologisti belgi si vedono costretti ad accettare compromessi che vanno talvolta in direzione opposta rispetto ai loro ideali storici. Queste discrepanze sono particolarmente visibili in tema di uscita dal nucleare. Allo stesso tempo, il groviglio inestricabile di sfide ambientali e sociali che ci troviamo a fronteggiare oggi richiede agli ambientalisti di adottare una visione sistemica dei problemi attuali e futuri. Il faro da cui dobbiamo lasciarci guidare nelle scelte future si chiama giustizia sociale: occorre estirpare le disuguaglianze attraverso politiche economiche e sociali, distribuzione e redistribuzione dei profitti (in particolare attraverso le tasse), dando a tutti la “possibilità di vivere una vita dignitosa” (e non il “potere d’acquisto”) e puntando alla sostenibilità ambientale. Un percorso che è solo all’inizio.

Categories: H. Green News

Enough is Enough campaign is an opportunity to take on Ford’s big business agenda

Spring Magazine - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 23:46

Ontario is in crisis. The stakes are high. We can't afford inaction, which will only demoralize workers, but open the door to right to push an even more reactionary agenda. We can either roll over and let the bosses win or stand up and say Enough is Enough!

The post Enough is Enough campaign is an opportunity to take on Ford’s big business agenda first appeared on Spring.

Categories: B3. EcoSocialism

‘It’s So Hard to Park’: Entitled Drivers Have Been Whining for 100 Years!

Streetsblog USA - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 21:01

Like death and taxes, New Yorkers complain about parking. And the media has long been their enablers.

These days, the local press likes to trot out random car drivers complaining that they can’t find parking because ___________ (insert any city program that has attempted to minutely tip the scales from drivers to everyone else such as open restaurants, open streets, wider sidewalks for pedestrians or a nascent effort to put garbage bags in the curbside lane and trim New York’s notorious 5 o’clock shadow).

“Sometimes I wait for hours to find a spot,” Luis Carrero of Kingsbridge Heights recently told the Daily News, claiming, “Years ago, it was easy.”

No, Luis, it wasn’t. Sure, there are tens of thousands more cars in the city now than before the pandemic, with car ownership increasing 12 percent, according to the NY Post, and, yes a few thousand spots were repurposed during the pandemic for the public instead of for private car storage, but Luis and his ilk are just flat-out wrong: It was never easy to park in New York City. Complaints from car owners are as long standing a tradition in New York as booing the mayor on opening day at Yankee Stadium.

Calvin Trillin’s 2001 book.

How do we know? We asked the ultimate expert.

“Parking has been difficult for decades,” author Calvin Trillin told Streetsblog the other day. And he ought to know; in 2001, Trillin published the seminal, “Tepper Isn’t Going Out,” an entire novel about parking that was born from the author’s own years searching for a spot in Greenwich Village.

The problem he said is decades old and began “as soon as there were so many cars that if you put them in the end they would measure more than the parking spots.”

Trillin said that drivers should put today’s parking problems in context. Finding a spot will always be difficult “unless people just don’t have that many cars.”

Nonetheless, the car-owning minority of New York feels that free parking is it inalienable right. A safety improvement that might save the life of a kid or a neighbor are still met with outrage from drivers — and the media plays along, hyping how hard it is to park. But some reporters get it.

“New York has been synonymous with endless traffic jams, total gridlock, impossible parking and hours-long spot-hunting for decades. And it is nothing short of bizarre revisionism to even imply otherwise,” Aaron Gordon recently wrote in VICE.

Revisionism is the perfect word for today’s laments. We did a deep dive into the parking issue and here are some highlights:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov. 17, 1917

As early as 1917, car owners started asserting their entitlement to simply swipe the public curbside space. As detailed by the Brooklyn Eagle, the practice of storing a car in the public right of way was so bizarre that the police commissioner ordered a crackdown.

“Instructions were given that special attention should be paid to conditions in the vicinity of Borough Hall in Brooklyn,” the article said (wait, is this article from 2023?!).

The irony is that at the time, local merchants complained that car drivers who parked against the curb were deterring customers (the opposite complaint is made today).

At the time, street parking was a luxury allowed only to doctors who needed to rush to take care of a patient. So how come house calls disappeared, but theft of public space didn’t?

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Dec. 22, 1921

As the popularity of the automobile continued to rise, parking became more of a crisis … for entitled drivers demanding space.

As this 1921 article shows, all kinds of solutions were pitched, including an intricate car parking system underneath parks, with 30,000 spaces created under Central Park and another 4,000 under Bryant Park.

“Parked cars today cause congestion, loss of life and injuries,” Deputy Police Commissioner Harriss was quoted as saying before describing his elaborate system that seems right out of an Elon Musk fever dream: “When a passenger would leave his car to enter a store or a theater for a considerable space of time, the car should be immediately sent to Central or Bryant park, subject to recall by an electronic flashlight system probably requiring six telephone operators in each parking tunnel.”

Harriss claimed, “Practically all of the large department stores have been studying the suggestion and are enthusiastic about it.”

Brooklyn Borough President Riegelmann was on board with efforts to ameliorate the parking “problem,” saying that “the parked car was rapidly becoming one of the biggest of the city’s transportation problems,” the Eagle reported.

This was back in the days when parking one’s car overnight on a street was simply prohibited.

“In those days, people thought that the streets should not be used to store automobiles,” the legendary parking expert Donald Shoup of UCLA, told Streetsblog the other day. The shift, he said, “was that drivers kept insisting, ‘Here’s all this wonderful space that you prohibit us from using.’”

The New York Times, Dec. 6, 1923

In the 1920s, truckers were the canaries in the coal mine of New York City parking, what with their work constantly impeded by cars. In 1923, the Merchant Truckmen’s Bureau of New York declared that the only way to really improve traffic issues was to ban car parking in busy areas of the city.

The police department provided limited off street parking, but people didn’t use them “because the car owners have to walk three or four blocks back from the place they parked the car, to their business.” Aww, baby.

The New York Times, April 22, 1945

As more and more soldiers returned home from World War II and vacant lots were converted to buildings, the city faced a flood of new traffic and fewer off-street parking spaces.

At the time, the auto lobby acknowledged that parked cars were the problem — but the car industry’s solution was hardly to deter driving and parking, but to encourage it!

George Conrad Diehl, of the Automobile Old Timers, demanded that the city cut “at least” four new crosstown boulevards for cars, with parking spaces installed underneath. He claimed “these broad arteries would more than pay for themselves … through the economic service they rendered.” He was wrong — roadways have been widened, but congestion still cripples the city and hampers economic development.

‘The Odd Couple,’ Oct. 19, 1973

As the decades went on, New York streets did magically add parking spaces, yet New Yorkers kept trying to squeeze more cars into them. In the 1970s, the prospect that a New Yorker would buy a car was still played for laughs — because, how ridiculous it would be for someone who lives in the heart of Manhattan to think owning a car would make his life easier!

Episode six of the fourth season of the iconic New York comedy, “The Odd Couple,” makes this abundantly clear.

After Oscar wins a car on a game show, he and Felix increasingly realize how difficult it is to find parking. First, they seek an off-street spot at a garage, but the garage manager (played perfectly by John Byner) claims he doesn’t have space for them (watch the seminal scene here). Failing to bribe a garage owner  (“What will this get us,” Felix says, showing the $10 bill, to which the garage owner says, “Two fives?”), Felix and Oscar decide they’ll try to park on the street.

“Yeah, yeah, try it on the street for a while,” says the garage owner. “You’se’ll be back!”

Later, Oscar has had enough, and tries to hire a thief to steal the car.

“I’m sick of cars! I’m sick of parking! No argument, we’re getting rid of the car!” Oscar screams.

Felix persuades Oscar that his plan is morally bankrupt and that, “The Lord will never forgive you.”

“If he owned a car in New York he would,” Oscar retorts. (Watch the scene where they decide to get rid of the car here.)

In they end, “la Forza del destino” intervenes and they are forced to sell the car for $56:

The vandalized car. Texas Monthly, February 1976

A 1976 article in Texas Monthly described the difference between Texans and New Yorkers’ relationship to their cars. Naturally, the topic turned to parking, which the magazine described as so difficult that it has “caused a lot of city divorces.”

‘Seinfeld,’ April 22, 1992 The fight begins.

There are few pieces of pop culture that captured the experience of being a New Yorker like the show about nothing. In “The Parking Space” (S3 E22), an iconic “Seinfeld” episode, George is backing into a parking space when someone else tries to drive into the space front ways (which even we acknowledge is anti-social behavior). The resulting argument over who should get to park there lasts the entire episode, and both George and the other man are stubborn enough to wait until their rival leaves.

“People kill for a parking space in this city,” Elaine tells George when he decides he’s going to challenge the other driver.

(Watch the scene where the argument begins here.)

The New York Times, June 13, 1999

This 1999 Times article, headlined “The Space Race; Why Is It So Hard To Find a Parking Space In Manhattan?” shows how far the car invasion had come from 1917, when street parking was a crime.

New York car owners had accepted the right to street parking as a fundamental truth, and the focus of news articles shifted to the apparent injustice of not being able to find a parking space.

“New York is a crowded place, with two million vehicles registered in the five boroughs, and many millions more coming in daily from the suburbs and beyond,” the article states. “There just isn’t room for all of them on the streets. Demand for parking exceeds supply. Simple as that.”

At the time, car interests were pushing the city to require developers to build more off-street parking in their projects — the dreaded mandatory minimum parking rules that the city has been struggling to undo for decades. Not everyone was buying it, though.

Then-Soho Council Member Kathryn Freed said she didn’t like the idea of adding more parking, even off-street.

”I know people who live in the city need places to park,” she said. ”But we are so congested that the idea of allowing more parking in the center of the city is insane.” (Where have you gone, Kathryn Freed — a city turns its lonely eyes to you.)

The New Yorker, Aug. 23, 2012

Arriving closer to the present day, we see that very little has changed. This New Yorker article by Thomas Beller, aptly titled “Parking: The Agonies and the Ecstasies,” is a story of the pain of hunting for parking, and the pure “joy” of finding a great spot. You know the parking situation is dire when finding a spot causes the kind of emotional outpouring that used to be reserved for weddings, adventures or the smile of a dog.

Of course, not every car owner has a rosy-eyed view of the past.

“Parking here has always been a clusterf–k!” Astoria resident and bartender Joey Izzo told the Post last year. A few spots lost to outdoor dining “hasn’t changed” anything, he added.

How Mayors Can Lead The Way to a Sustainable Transportation Future (Hint: Listen to John Bauters)

Streetsblog USA - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 21:01

Not enough U.S. mayors make sustainable transportation a priority, and even the ones that do don't always get much done. On today's episode of The Brake, though, we spoke with one elected official who's making massive progress to make streets safer, greener and more equitable in his small town — and sharing lessons in leadership that can scale to even the biggest cities.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2022/12/21/what-it-takes-to-put-a-seat-at-every-bus-stop-in-town/

 

In this extended conversation with Mayor John Bauters of Emeryville, Calif., we learn more about his successful effort to put a seat at every bus stop in his town, which Streetsblog covered last month, and what it takes to get humble yet ambitious mobility projects like this done. And along the way, we chat about why he thinks climate change is a losing campaign issue even though it's the most important issue of our time, why elected officials should get outside more, and why he thinks that you — yes, you — should run for office.

Tune in below, on Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen.

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Tuesday’s Headlines Have Their Heads in the Sand

Streetsblog USA - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 21:00

  • At a recent transportation conference attended by many engineers, planners, businesspeople and policymakers, most presenters refused to acknowledge the reality that a system where 90 percent of people driving personal vehicles will never be efficient or clean. (Transportation for America)
  • Transit agencies should better serve women, but referring to them as “vulnerable users” still centers the male experience. (Eltis)
  • Still suffering from high vacancy rates at downtown office buildings, Bay Area Rapid Transit is counting on a future ballot measure to provide funding and avoid drastic service cuts once federal pandemic dollars run out. (CBS News)
  • The Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s CEO dashed hopes for a Roosevelt Boulevard subway line, saying it’s just too expensive. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • A Hillsborough County, Florida, transportation board nixed the idea of even studying whether to tear down part of I-275. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • The details have yet to be worked out, but Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and lawmakers in both parties say they want to push forward traffic safety legislation. (The Chronicle)
  • The Cincinnati city council approved phase two of the Central Parkway protected bike lane project. (WCPO)
  • Bus rapid transit is a better option for the circular Atlanta Beltline than light rail, opines a Georgia Tech professor. (Saporta Report)
  • Syracuse’s mayor belatedly announced a Vision Zero initiative, four years after one council member first proposed it. (Post-Standard)
  • Omaha launched a new website with information about a proposed downtown streetcar. (Nebraska Examiner)
  • Snowplows piled up a mountain of snow on a St. Paul sidewalk, so these folks dug a tunnel. (Star Tribune)

Justice for Tyre Nichols! Solidarity against police murder!

Tempest Magazine - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 17:47

The horrifying video released Friday showing five Memphis police officers severely beating a defenseless and compliant Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, on January 7 has once again exposed the brutal racism of police murder.

We at Tempest stand with his family and the communities impacted by his death. We are in solidarity with the ongoing movement for Black Lives against racist killer cops.

Nichols’ murder comes in the wake of a record year of police killings. The Guardian reports that in 2022, law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people—roughly 100 people per month. Most of those killings—more than 70 percent—occurred during routine, non-threatening police encounters. In more than 30 percent of cases, the person killed was fleeing for their life—as was the case with Nichols. While making up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, Black people constituted 24 percent of those killed by police. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people.

Like every person murdered by police, however, Tyre Nichols was much more than another name, more than another statistic. He was a father to a four-year-old son and a FedEx worker. His mother, Row Vaughn Wells, was extremely close to her son. He had moved from Sacramento to Memphis to be near her, they shared a home there with his stepfather, and he had a tattoo of her name on his arm. He enjoyed skateboarding and photography. (You can find some of his work here.) NPR published a video—a beautiful and heartbreaking counterpoint to the police video—of Nichols riding a skateboard in the sunshine, jumping stairs, curbs, and walls while making elaborate turns.

On the night of January 7, police pulled Nichols over and dragged him violently from his car. All five police officers at the scene weighed over 200 pounds in comparison to Nichols, who, despite his considerable height of 6’3”, weighed less than 150 pounds. (He was living with Crohn’s disease.) Nichols fled on foot toward his mother’s house after the police Tasered him. Police caught him and threw him to the ground even as he protested that he was complying with their orders to lie down. Crying for his mother, he was kicked, punched, and beaten with a baton until he was bleeding, immobile, and in shock.

Emergency workers were slow to arrive. The New York Times reports that medics stood by passively and even walked away as Nichols writhed in pain for six minutes and 40 seconds. 23 minutes passed before a stretcher arrived on the scene. Nichols died in the hospital three days later.

“It just never stops. There was a movement and uproar across the globe, and we’re still having more killings.”

Protests have erupted across the country, in Memphis, Milwaukee, Oakland, Phoenix, Baltimore, Dallas, Los Angeles, York, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Portland, and elsewhere. Everywhere, protesters have raised signs and chants calling not only for an end to police killings but also for the defunding and abolition of the police.

Ironically—but not surprisingly—police in riot gear faced off Friday night with protestors in Los Angeles. They were honoring not only Nichols but also Keenan Anderson, who was murdered this month after L.A. police pinned him to the ground and Tasered him at least six times over a period of 42 seconds.

The five officers who murdered Tyre Nichols have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, along with six other felonies, and a sixth officer has also been suspended. The emergency medical workers who delayed care for Nichols have been suspended.

The cops who beat Tyre Nichols were members of a predatory strike team called Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in our Neighborhoods, or SCORPION, which has since been dismantled. Such task forces, modeled on the 1970s STRESS (Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets) unit in Detroit, are deployed to intensify the crackdown on Black people and the poor to assuage the anxieties of business owners and justify inequality.

All of the officers who beat Tyre Nichols are Black, which might explain the rapidity with which they were dismissed and charged and the sudden disbanding of the task force. One can imagine that, if the officers had been white, they might not have faced such sudden—or any—punishment.

The situation is not one in which a few “bad cops” are out of control. SCORPION was created on the initiative of police chief Cerlyn Davis, who instructed the unit to crack down even on minor offenses and ramp up “all-out” policing in poor neighborhoods.

Even when police forces are racially diverse, they still fulfill the functions of surveilling, targeting, and killing of Black people. The scapegoating and murder of Black men by police buttresses an inhumane set of priorities by which police funding increases while resources for public welfare are cut. The brutal racism of policing in U.S. cities justifies inequality and austerity as we enter a likely economic recession.

Protesting the murder of George Floyd. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The 2020 murder of George Floyd led to mass uprisings for racial justice and against police murder. Yet, with the backing of pro-cop Democratic mayors, police budgets across the country have increased, including in Los Angeles, where the police department funding has increased by $250 million since 2020. In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is pushing to reduce city spending by three percent in 2023 and 4.75 percent in 2024 and 2025. Adams’ plan would shrink the expansion of free preschool programs across the city in order to save $284 million in fiscal years 2025 and 2026.

Amid the local protests in Memphis following George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Democratic mayor Jim Strickland released a statement on June 10 that read in part, “I’m opposed to defunding our police department. I believe cutting funding from the Memphis Police Department is unwise. And frankly, it’s out of touch with the majority of city residents.” In 2017, the Memphis police budget was 38 percent of the total city budget; a year after George Floyd’s murder, it was 40 percent.

This inhumane set of priorities is evident in another instance of police murder. On January 18, police shot and killed a nonviolent protester in Atlanta, Georgia, queer environmentalist Manuel “Tortuguita” Esteban Paez Terán. Terán and other activists were challenging what is being called “Cop City,” officials plan to build a 90-million-dollar police training center there, destroying 85 acres of forest.

This is the context of the police murder of Tyre Nichols, who died on January 10. Just ten days later, President Biden made the following tellingly reactionary comments:

When it comes to public safety—when it comes to public safety, we know the answer is not to defund the police. It’s to retrain some police. It’s to make sure we know exactly what’s happening. But it’s not to defund the police. They need more funding, and they need ancillary help as well.

Calling for more police funding, Biden has proposed an “American Rescue Plan” that includes $350 billion to local and state governments “to make communities safer.” In a sickening move, Biden invited Nichols’ family to the State of the Union Address.

This “plan” and Biden’s remarks are affronts to justice and decency. The police murder of Tyre Nichols—and that of Keenan Anderson and the hundreds of other Black people killed by the police—requires a renewed uprising against racist police murders. Bianca Austin, aunt of police victim Breonna Taylor, expressed this urgency: “It just never stops. There was a movement and uproar across the globe, and we’re still having more killings.”

None of the issues raised by the 2020 rebellion against police murder has been resolved. Derecka Parnell, writing for the Guardian, notes that the beating of Tyre Nichols happened even when reforms like body cameras were in place.

There is an urgent need for ongoing protests raising the demand to defund—and, ultimately, abolish—the police. In response to the video of police beating Nichols, a Portland activist posted a message reading, “EVERY SINGLE MURDER caused by police should ignite within us a rage that is unstoppable. This will ignite a whole new uprising. And it should.”

You can support Nichols’ family by donating to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund.

Featured Image Credit:Photo by Beck1999 modified by Tempest.

Categories: D2. Socialism

Wind and solar were EU’s top electricity source in 2022 for first time ever

The Carbon Brief - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 17:00

Wind and solar supplied more of the EU’s electricity than any other power source for the first time ever in 2022, new analysis finds.

They together provided a record one-fifth of the EU’s electricity in 2022 – a larger share than gas or nuclear, according to a report by the climate thinktank Ember.

Record additions of new wind and solar in 2022 helped Europe survive a “triple crisis” created by restrictions on Russian gas supplies, a dip in hydro caused by drought and unexpected nuclear outages, the analysis says.

Around 83% of the dip in hydro and nuclear power was met by wind and solar – and falling electricity demand. The rest was met by coal, which grew at a slower pace than some had expected amid a drop in fossil fuel supplies from Russia.

Solar generation across the EU rose by a record 24% in 2022, helping to avoid €10bn in gas costs, according to the findings. Some 20 EU nations sourced a record share of their power from solar, including the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

Wind and solar growth is expected to continue this year, while hydro and nuclear generation is likely to recover. As a result, fossil fuel power generation could drop by an unprecedented 20% in 2023 – double the previous record observed in 2020, the analysis projects.

Record renewables

Wind and solar generated a record 22.3% of EU electricity in 2022, for the first time overtaking nuclear (21.9%) and gas (19.9%), according to the analysis and shown in the chart below.

It comes after wind and solar overtook hydro power in 2015 and coal in 2019.

@media (max-width: 450px){#iframeMob{display:none}} @media (min-width: 450px){#mob{display:none}} Shares of EU electricity generation by source, 2000-22, %. Source: Ember. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.

The new landmark reflects both record growth in wind and solar in Europe and an unexpected dip in nuclear power in 2022.

Last year, Europe faced a “triple crisis” for its energy supplies, the report says.

The first driver was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent shockwaves through the global energy system.

Before the attack, Europe sourced a third of its gas from Russia. But the outbreak of war saw Russia restrict gas supplies to Europe and new EU sanctions on oil and coal imports from the country.

Despite the upheaval, EU gas generation remained stable in 2022, when compared to 2021. 

This is largely because gas was already more expensive than coal in most of 2021, says analysis lead author Dave Jones, head of data insights at Ember. He tells Carbon Brief:

“There was no further gas-to-coal switching possible in 2022.”

The other major contributors to the crisis were dips in supplies of both nuclear and hydro power, the report explains:

“A one-in-500 year drought across Europe led to the lowest level of hydro generation since at least 2000, and there were widespread unexpected French nuclear outages just as German nuclear units were closing.”

This created a gap in generation equal to 7% of Europe’s total electricity demand in 2022, the report says.

Around 83% of this gap was met by wind and solar generation – and a fall in electricity demand. (Electricity demand fell by 8% in the last quarter of 2022 compared to 2021 – driven by a combination of mild weather and public efforts to reduce energy use, according to Ember.)

Solar generation increased by a record 24% in 2022, helping to avoid €10bn in gas costs, according to Ember. This was due to record installations of 41 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 – nearly 50% more than was added in 2021.

From May to August, solar provided 12% of the EU’s power – exceeding 10% for the first summer in history.

EU countries setting solar records in 2022. Credit: Ember

Some 20 EU countries sourced a record share of their power from solar in 2022. The leader was the Netherlands, which produced 14% of its power from solar – overtaking coal for the first time.

Elsewhere, Greece ran solely on renewables for five hours in October 2022, according to Ember. The country is also expected to reach its 2030 solar capacity target of 8GW by the end of this year – seven years early.

No role for coal

As countries scrambled to replace fossil fuels from Russia in early 2022, several EU nations signalled that they were considering increasing their dependence on coal-fired power.

However, the new report finds that coal played a minimal role in helping the EU tackle its energy crisis.

Just a sixth of the fall in nuclear and hydro in 2022 was met by coal, according to the analysis. 

And in the final four months of the year – as temperatures began to drop – coal generation fell by 6%, when compared to the same period in 2021. This was primarily driven by falling electricity demand, the report says.

It adds that the 26 coal units brought back as emergency standby ran at just 18% capacity in the final four months of 2022. Nine of the 26 coal units did not provide any generation at all.

Overall, coal generation rose by 7% in 2022 compared to 2021, increasing EU power sector emissions by nearly 4%. The report says:

“It could have been much worse: wind, solar and a fall in electricity demand prevented a much larger return to coal. In context, coal’s rise was not substantial: coal power remained below 2018 levels and added only 0.3% to global coal generation.”

2023 outlook

The growth of wind and solar is projected to continue this year, according to industry estimates, the report says.

At the same time, both hydro and nuclear power are expected to recover – with EDF forecasting that many of its French nuclear plants will come back online in 2023. 

As a result of these factors, fossil fuel power generation could drop by an unprecedented 20% in 2023 – double the previous record observed in 2020, the analysis projects. The report says:

“Coal generation will fall, but gas generation, which is expected to remain more expensive than coal until at least 2025, will fall the fastest.”

The chart below demonstrates how growth in wind and solar – as well as a continued fall in electricity demand – could prompt fossil fuel generation to fall in 2023.

Change in EU electricity generation 2021-2022 and a projection for 2022-2023. Credit: Ember

Jones adds that the findings show that the energy crisis has “undoubtedly sped up Europe’s electricity transition”. He says:

“Not only are European countries still committed to phasing out coal, they are now striving to phase out gas as well. Europe is hurtling towards a clean, electrified economy and this will be on full display in 2023. Change is coming fast, and everyone needs to be ready for it.”

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The post Wind and solar were EU’s top electricity source in 2022 for first time ever appeared first on Carbon Brief.

Categories: I. Climate Science

Benjamin Case on “Street Rebellion: Beyond Violence and Non-Violence”

It's Going Down - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 16:22

On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with Benjamin Case, organizer and author of the new book, Street Rebellions: Beyond Violence and Non-Violence. During our discussion, Case speaks on conversations with participants from a variety of contemporary movements about how many are leaving behind rigid ideologies such as pacifism, and imagining revolutionary strategies which embrace more nuanced and holistic approaches to building power and deepening social struggles.

With the streets heating up again and those in power trotting out well wore attacks on combative movements, we hope our discussion continues forward our ability to grow and build the capacity for grassroots change in new and dynamic ways.

More Info: Street Rebellion: Beyond Violence and Non-Violence on AK Press

photo: Mike Von via Unsplash

Categories: D1. Anarchism

‘Say his name!’ Police murder of Tyre Nichols sparks outrage

Socialist Resurgence - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 15:53
By JOHN LESLIE On Jan. 7, Memphis police from the so-called SCORPION Unit (Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods) pulled Tyre Nichols, 29, over for an alleged traffic violation. The video released by the Memphis police shows that in the initial encounter, the cops are aggressively shouting, “Get out of the fuck […]
Categories: D2. Socialism

National Nurses United statement on Tyre Nichols’ death and police practices

National Nurses United - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 15:32
National Nurses United statement on Tyre Nichols’ death and police practices ADonahue January 30, 2023 Nurses mourn the tragic death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and the community fighting for justice in the wake of his killing. NNU National Nurses United Jan 31, 2023 Nationwide
Categories: C4. Radical Labor

What happened to our timepoints? New schedules make it harder to ride

Pittsburghers for Public Transit - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 15:09
image description: photo of a group of riders getting off a bus downtown. The person in the center of the photo is wearing a purple t-shirt and a backpack and they are pulling down their mask. Reducing Timepoints on Route Schedules Does Not Increase Schedule Reliability. Instead, it Lowers PRT Scheduling Accountability and Leaves Riders Out in the Cold for Longer

Transit service in Allegheny County is in crisis. As our forthcoming report Representing our Routes will explain, 38 out of Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s (PRT’s) 105 routes experienced a month or more of service reliability of 50% or less in 2022. That’s appalling.

Riders have been testifying at PRT board meetings and rallying in the streets over the past year to highlight the need for PRT’s schedules to accurately reflect the run times for routes. Riders are regularly left waiting for buses that never arrive or routinely arrive late, causing them to miss work, doctor’s appointments and other critical needs. Transit operators are pressured into foregoing bathroom breaks and unfairly targeted by frustrated passengers because of route schedules that do not accurately reflect the time it takes to drive the route.  

PRT has just announced February’s quarterly service changes, which we hoped would be revised to accurately reflect the run times to make the service better for riders and transit workers both. Instead, on 9 of the 16 service trip time adjustments proposed, PRT is going to reduce timepoints on the schedule.

Image description: Teal blue powerpoint slide from PRT’s January 19th Board Committees meeting, with a table showing trip time adjustments in the February quarterly service changes. There are 16 routes listed and 9 of them read “reduction of published timepoints.”  Let’s be clear: reducing timepoints is not the same as increasing service reliability.

These changes serve mainly to reduce accountability for PRT, by lowering the visibility of their erratic or poor on-time performance and will create a larger window of time and greater uncertainty for riders for when buses will arrive at the stops between timepoints. It shifts responsibility for timeliness and issues with missing the bus from PRT to the riders.

Reducing timepoints means that riders will be able to see fewer scheduled stops and bus arrival times on the published and printed schedules, and PRT will track fewer data points around whether their service is performing up to standard. For instance, starting in February, the 88 Penn will only show 4 (!) stops or time points on the schedule- North Point Breeze, Children’s Hospital, Strip District, and Downtown. That means that riders in East Liberty, Friendship, and Garfield have no specific time named for when the 88 bus will arrive at their stops, and have a large window in which the bus might theoretically arrive. This will also make planning ahead for trips with transfers exceedingly difficult, because route planning relies on riders being able to compare stop times on two or more published schedules. 

image description: a screenshot of the new schedule for the 88 Penn only shows timepoints for 4 stops along the route; Downtown, Strip District, Children’s Hospital, and North Point Breeze.

The worst part is that PRT can adjust schedules based on the real-time data of how long it takes for buses to arrive at stops, but despite having accurate data, the schedule planning department has not made any adjustments! (See Transit Scheduling Director Philip St. Pierre’s response about the Uptown service in response to Board member Ann Ogoreuc in the 1/19/23 PRT Board Committees meeting, at min. 20.25) This would improve service reliability dramatically, particularly in corridors where there is construction causing service delays.

Transit riders and workers need PRT to make and publish reliable schedules, and ones that honestly reflect the amount of service that riders have access to. Our lives depend on it. 

The post What happened to our timepoints? New schedules make it harder to ride appeared first on Pittsburghers for Public Transit.

Categories: Z. Transportation

UK: Front Doors Smashed at University of Cambridge’s Chemical Engineering Department

Earth First! Newswire - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 14:48

from This Is Not a Drill

HIT REPORT. Over the weekend, environmental activists smashed the glass doors at the University of Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering’s main entrance. They took this action in protest of the department’s fossil fuel research, funding and lobbying. The activists also spray-painted the words “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” on the building’s main walkway in red.

In a report to climate action reporting website This Is Not a Drill, the activists gave two reasons for targeting the department. “This department was founded with money from Shell and it’s committed to keeping up its fossil fuel connections over the years – including collaboration with BP, Exxon and Schlumberger. Because of this, Chemical Engineering staff lobbied against against a recent vote to cut fossil fuel research ties at the University of Cambridge. It shows how completely corrupt they are.”

According to Fossil Free Research, partnerships such as those maintained by the Chemical Engineering department bias research outcomes. The vote referred to is the recent motion (also known as a Grace) which was blocked by the University of Cambridge’s governing body from going to a full vote after intervention from fossil fuel funded scientists, including several from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

A member of the protest group spoke about why they broke the glass: “Companies like Shell and Exxon have profited from murder and the theft of land, and the University of Cambridge doesn’t just work with them – it actively protects them. If votes and conversations won’t change that, maybe direct action will.”

The protest follows several notable climate actions reported by This Is Not a Drill in the last three months:

  • In October, the front windows were smashed at fossil fuel giant Schlumberger’s oil research centre in Cambridge, which hosts a test oil drill on University of Cambridge land.
  • In November, Cambridge’s Department of Engineering was targeted for its research collaborations with BP and Shell, as well as its doctoral training centres funded by fossil fuel companies. Protestors shattered its rock-shaped advertising screen in multiple places, which still hasn’t been fixed.
  • Most recently, at the start of this month, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies was spray-painted to highlight its sponsorship by numerous fossil fuel companies and the oil company executives on its board.
Categories: B4. Radical Ecology

Digital watermark pilot to begin in France

Resource Recycling News - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 13:53

Digital watermark pilot to begin in France

Expanding on earlier trials, Digimarc plans to test its Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0 in France on a larger scale. The previous trials were limited to HolyGrail 2.0 members, but now, all operators in France are invited to participate, a …

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The post Digital watermark pilot to begin in France appeared first on Resource Recycling News.

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