China's carbon pledge will require complete inversion of existing system

Country will need to kick addiction to coal and build eye-watering amount of wind and solar capacity

China’s President Xi Jinping stunned climate action observers in a speech at the United Nations general assembly last week with a pledge to reach “peak carbon” before 2030, and drive down emissions to virtually zero by 2060.

The pledge from the world’s biggest climate polluter is considered by environmentalists to be the most important step in tackling the climate crisis since the Paris Climate Agreement galvanised global governments to reduce carbon emissions in an attempt to cap global heating well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrialisation levels.

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Tory split on coronavirus has seen off any joined-up strategy | Phillip Inman

The battle between Treasury and health department has doomed us to a succession of contradictory gambits – and a long, hard winter

It would help if the cabinet could agree. Yet for the past seven months it has remained deeply divided, squabbling over the scientific advice and what Covid-19 might mean for the nation’s health and jobs.

Britons have become familiar with a bewildering, almost weekly stream of tactical policies, twisting this way and that, many of them in direct opposition to each other.

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The Guardian view on the EU economy: adopt, not outlaw, Keynesian policies | Editorial

During the pandemic, the EU dropped its austerity-inducing budget rules and restrictions on its central bank’s ability to finance government spending. It get should rid of them permanently

In an emergency, the normal rules do not apply. Coronavirus has shown the EU can do things differently. Early on the commission dumped its obsession with balancing the books. The prohibition on monetary financing of government debt by the European Central Bank (ECB) was dropped. This allowed member states the freedom to mitigate the damage of a Covid recession without worrying too much about borrowing levels.

That fear was well-founded. The EU had used high debt levels as a reason to intervene in public policy. Emma Clancy, an economist for the leftwing block of MEPs, has noted the commission had used debt burdens to ask member states to cut spending on, or privatise, healthcare services 63 times between 2011 and 2018. … Read the rest

Former Cambridge Analytica chief receives seven-year directorship ban

Alexander Nix handed penalty for ‘potentially unethical’ behaviour linked to scandal

Alexander Nix, the former boss of Cambridge Analytica, has been banned from serving as a company director for seven years over “potentially unethical” behaviour linked to his position at the centre of a global scandal.

The Insolvency Service said Nix had allowed companies to offer potentially unethical services, including “bribery or honey-trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns”.

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