Coronavirus, is Pakistan doing better than India in managing the pandemic?
Asia Pacific Focus

Coronavirus, is Pakistan doing better than India in managing the pandemic?

After the initial difficulties, Pakistan appears to be managing well to contain the spread of the coronavirus. According to The Economist, Islamabad is even doing better than its historical enemy, India, at managing the pandemic. Whereas India’s burden is still rising by 70,000 new cases a day, Pakistan’s caseload seems to have peaked three months ago. Its daily total of new cases has remained in the mere hundreds since early August.

From the beginning of the pandemic, India registered 6,312,584 coronavirus cases and 98,708 deaths, 2,317 new cases only yesterday.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan recorded only 6 deaths out of 694 confirmed cases against 36,468 tests in the last 24 hours. With the exception of large indoor gatherings, the country lifted social and commercial lockdown. Educational institutions have opened in a progressive manner with SOPs in place. Today Islamabad started also to lift restrictions while traveling by train and airlines. However, strict SOPs will be imposed.

The COVID-19 numbers are showing a slowdown, hit cannot be translated as the pandemic having reached a peak. Screening at the airports, obligatory masks in public places and ban on large indoor social gatherings is still imposed. Unlike India, the Pakistani government has started to implement “micro-smart lockdown” strategy, under which very small localities like buildings with multiple housing units and street level areas with more than 2 positive cases will be targeted instead of entire areas.

India’s economy has also fared far worse.The Asian Development Bank predicts that its GDP will shrink by fully 9% in the current fiscal year, compared with a contraction of 0.4% for Pakistan.In support of very small business and low-income individuals, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has enhanced the limit for housing finance and microenterprise loans to PKR 3 million from the existing PKR 1 million for borrowing from microfinance banks.A significant slowdown in the spread of Covid-19 has encouraged some local business sectors to prepare for a restart by increasing borrowing.

While India is unable to reopen due to the exponential increase in COVID infections, the hotel industry in Pakistan has increased borrowing by over 40% in the past two months. The outstanding borrowing by pharmaceutical manufacturers in August 2020 stood at PKR 73 Billion compared to PKR 61 Billion in August 2019. In the same manner, borrowing by motorcycle manufactures increased by 12.30% to reach PKR 9.35 Billion in the same period.The State Bank of Pakistan has also eased the 100% cash margin requirement for import of certain raw materials to support manufacturing and industrial sectors and to enhance their capacity to contribute to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

Islamabad has announced to have contained budget deficit at PKR 440 Billion or less than 1% of the size of the economy (GDP) during the first two months of the current fiscal. The total difference between expenditures and receipts was almost 12% less than the same period of the last fiscal. However, the improvement mainly due nearly 70% increase in non-tax revenue (higher petroleum levy rates).According to the Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers the 1st quarter of a higher production of two-wheelers and is expected to reach a record figure of 800.000 units by the end of the 1st quarter of the current fiscal year.

US Elections 2020: First Presidential Debate proved to be a mockery of democracy with Trump and Biden spat
Americas

US Elections 2020: First Presidential Debate proved to be a mockery of democracy with Trump and Biden spat

Four decades ago when John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon appeared in first televised presidential debate, the world watched the two candidates engage in a meaningful and intelligent discussion. Usually when two presidential nominees face each other in presidential debates, it is usually a display of intelligence, respect and composed discussions. But not this time. This year the world watched in complete dismay the unfolding of democracy hitting rock bottom of a nation which is known to be world’s biggest democracy. Presidential nominees, former VP Joe Biden and President Donald Trump faced each other in the first presidential debate of this election in Cleveland, Ohio and world saw a huge spat between these leaders.

The vicious encounter between the leaders on September 29, saw Trump and Biden trade insults, and showed a sitting president trash and neglect norms of a behavior suitable to be ‘presidential’ during a primetime telecast. The debate was a real-time rendering of how the US is heading for a decline. Never had politics in America sunk so low – it was a reminder how the country is in a midst of calling for reforms related to shootings, racism, white supremacy, Antifa, economic turmoil, pandemic, racial rift and political chaos.

Throughout the 90 minute debate session, Trump constantly bullied and interrupted Biden and also the moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News. He ignored blazing questions and Biden’s arguments around policies and facts. Instead he stooped low and took aim at Biden’s son who was relieved from military over consumption of cocaine. Biden initially seemed bothered by Trump’s constant interruptions, but then came in sync with the tempo of his opponent and responded by calling him a “clown”, a “racist” and “the worst president America has ever had.” Biden criticized Trump of his failure to take control of the pandemic and criticized his handling of the coronavirus crisis, his failure to come up with a solid healthcare plan and his response to racial protests and injustice.

Trump dodged and declined to condemn white supremacists

Biden repeatedly called Trump a racist saying, “This is a President who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division.” During debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he could directly condemn white supremacists. To this Trump flatly refused to condemn the White Supremacy directly and said “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” This is being projected as direct endorsement of the all men white supremacists group Proud Boys.

Election dispute

President Trump unleashed a series of misinformation around elections and mail-in ballot voting but failed to confirm if he would encourage his supporters to practice order and peaceful proceedings during and after November 3 elections. Trump said, “I’m encouraging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully.”

Complete denial of coronavirus pandemic

The best strategy opted by President Trump in last days of campaign seems to be override all the questions and confrontations related to coronavirus pandemic. Trump seems to be eager to move on from the blazing topic, the one that can actually cost him the White House.

Trump openly called the vaccine topic to be political and mocked his opponent Joe Biden of wearing mask. Instead of acknowledging the severity of pandemic in US, Trump maintained that he did the best and Joe Biden would have done far worse. Biden repeatedly mentioned the 200,000 Americans who died during pandemic.

Supreme Court – the highlight of the debate

Dominating issue of debate night was Trump’s Supreme Court justice nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as replacement of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The opening topic was lost amid the chaos right in the beginning. Biden tied to diverge the topic of Affordable Care Act while Trump tried to pin Biden on proposals to end Senate’s filibuster and expansion of Supreme Court. Nothing substantially came out of these points as Trump continued to interrupt Biden.

When Trump attacked Biden’s son Hunter Biden, the former VP snapped back and said, “My son had a drug problem, but he’s overcome it and I’m proud of him.” This can be a powerful connection between Joe Biden and thousands of Americans who are themselves or someone in their families are facing alcohol and drug addiction.

The clear winner after first debate night was Joe Biden who’s campaign raised $10 million in three hours after debate. This is smashing fundraising records, clearly indicating the leading opponent in the most high profile elections in United States of America history.

RELATED NEWS: United States, Biden and Harris lead in the polls by ten points

A No-Deal Brexit Will Come With Dangerous Consequences For Britain: EU Bloc Reps
Europe

A No-Deal Brexit Will Come With Dangerous Consequences For Britain: EU Bloc Reps

There is panic over trade in the European Union and the tension is building up as the deadline for the closing of the Brexit deal comes near.  There are reasons that In recent weeks, many major European exporters to the UK have expressed their anxiety.

Their British counterparts who sell into Europe are also not happy. There are sounds of arming cries to be heard everywhere. While Europe is still trying to recover from the backlash of the pandemic, the uncertainty over Brexit led trade movement is unsettling for the trade community that depends heavily on Britain for their exports.

Britain is a large market for wines, cheese, chocolates, automobiles and much more. With the country having very less of its own production, literally everything they consume is being exported from somewhere nearby or far off like Asia as well.

According to most traders, unless there is a deal, disruptions and higher costs on both sides of the English Channel is going to be the challenge to face. Britain has decided to exit the single market custom union, going against its initial promise not to do so.

Britain is still to agree on exit terms. There is no strategy in place when it comes to tariffs or even terms of trade across the British border to other countries from where it does business.  So, the resulting fear of friction to brew between the various European nations and Britain is not an unfounded one.

The worst effected has been the automobile industry that supplies literally half of Britain’s export needs.  A No-Deal-Brexit is completely out of question. For the meat, vegetable, fruits and dairy industry too, this is a prerequisite to save later days of chaos. Let’s call it wisdom and foresight, which someone seems to allude British PM Boris Johnson for the longest time.

EU figures say it out loud- the UK (indeed) was the top destination for the bloc’s agri-food exports, worth over €40 billion in the year to January 2020. In recent years nearly half of UK imports from the EU have come from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Ireland.

Most players in the market are not in favour of Britain moving out of the Single Market Custom Union. “Our surveys show that the European single market has absolute priority for 85 percent of German companies. In return, the companies are prepared to accept economic disadvantages in trade with the British,” said Volker Treier, head of foreign trade at the German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK).

Britain does not seem to understand the implications of stepping out of the Single Market union. It will not only jeopardize internal business of 27 countries in the bloc, but also hamper returns for those who trade with it regularly.

What worries the EU block most is that with Britain stepping out, without any clear indications of terms and conditions of trade going ahead the final transition period, there is going to be a loss of a “level playing field”. Further, the UK could pursue a more active business subsidy policy, competitive tax regime and competition policy.

Netanyahu claims Hezbollah hides its arms depots in Beirut’s residential areas
Middle East & Africa

Netanyahu claims Hezbollah hides its arms depots in Beirut’s residential areas

On Tuesday, in an address to UN General Assembly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Lebanese Iran-backed radical political party, Hezbollah, was hiding missiles and other armaments in Beirut’s residential neighborhood. Israeli leader highlighted that it was a disaster waiting to happen. As a proof to his statement against the militant group, he showed the UN exact locations on the map with pictures of entrances to the depot.

He said, “Here’s where the next explosion will take place, right here… You’ve got to act now, you’ve got to protest this, because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” Netanyahu in his message to the Lebanese people said, “You should tell them, ‘Tear these depots down.”

Last month Lebanon witnessed the worst blast in its history as about 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut’s port, which killed nearly 200 people, and injured  thousands. Post blast investigations revealed that the unprecedented catastrophe was result of Lebanese oblivious and highly corrupt political leaders, among whom many were aware of the deadly explosives stored at a warehouse on the port.

Israel has long accused Hezbollah of hiding explosives and armaments in residential areas especially southern Beirut and Southern Lebanon, where apparently its majority support base resides.

To add weight to Netanyahu’s claims the Arabic spokesperson of the Israeli Armyreleased a video on Twitter highlighting Hezbollah’s Precision Guided Missle (PGM) manufacturing sites in Beirut

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denied Israeli leader’s allegations, and said, “Whoever wants to go can go now. If Hezbollah is storing missiles in this facility, then there is not enough time to remove them We don’t store missiles at the port or near gas facilities. We know where to store missiles.”

“We will allow media outlets to enter the facility so that the world knows that Netanyahu is lying,” he added. Following his address many journalists, including Associated Press photographer visited one of the factory site as mentioned by Israeli leader and reported about large pieces of iron and steel, heavy machinery and oxygen canisters – but no missiles or weapons.

PBO Predictions Of Slow Revival Of Budget Deficits By 2022
Americas

PBO Predictions Of Slow Revival Of Budget Deficits By 2022

Canada’s “barely” sustainable $328.5 billion deficit is set to decline significantly by 2022- this has been confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. However, others differ on this assertion saying that this does not include the budget that Ottawa has promised to use for itself.

Released recently, the new deficit projections are not showing a promising picture.  The independent office’s economic and fiscal outlook assessment is for policy-makers to consider, including the new deficit projection for the fiscal year 2020-2021 which is lower than the government’s estimate of $343 billion.

 But the Ottawa situation could lead to a change in scenario.

The PBO’s report included an estimated $225 billion in Covid-19 pandemic spending measures as well as initiatives announced by the government up to September 1. However, it does not include new spending measures announced in the Liberal government’s throne speech such as universal pharmacare and national child care programs.

According to the state report, the increase in spending should be looked at as a temporary move.  The current projections will also hinge on whether the interest rates remain low.

The PBO report stated that for the first half of 2020, real GDP, the value of all goods and services produced in Canada, was 13.4 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. But by the third quarter of 2020, “we estimate that the rebound in real GDP will have recouped about two-thirds of the decline in economic activity,” the report said.

“We project that the level of real GDP will reach its precrisis level by early-2022,” said the report.

Post 2021, the federal government’s budgets will increase to $40billion year on year.  However all these predictions depend on three major assumptions. One is that the country will continue to spend on public health for the next 12-18 months. The second is that emergency spending measures will stop as planned through 2020-2021 and that new programs aren’t introduced; and finally, and the third is that the Bank of Canada keeps interest rates low.

‘Strategic autonomy for Europe, the aim of our generation,’ the EU President Charles Michel vision
Europe

‘Strategic autonomy for Europe, the aim of our generation,’ the EU President Charles Michel vision

European strategic autonomy. Or sovereignty? Or power? We all know that concepts and words can take on different connotations depending on the context. The President of the European Council Charles Michel in his speech to the Bruegel think tank focused on on the substance behind the words. “The last three decades, as we have continued to build the European Union, have brought the creation of the single market, the Schengen area, the euro, the great enlargement… And finally, the Treaty of Lisbon, which consolidated our institutional framework”. Michel indicated, stressing that each of these stages has strengthened the European Union and its autonomy.

A cornerstone of the European political agenda has been and remains climate diplomacy. Europe is the vanguard of the fight against climate change. In 2018, a few pioneering countries committed themselves to carbon neutrality by 2050. After that came the struggle to win people over, the mobilisation of civil society and of young people for the climate. And in December 2019, with the support of Ursula von der Leyen’s Green Deal, the 27 member states made the 2050 commitment for the entire European Union. “We firmly conveyed this message to China, including at our recent summit with Xi Jinping”. The president of the European Council explained, noting the Jinping announcement at the UN last week of China’s 2060 commitment crowns a real diplomatic success.

So, why is it more important now than ever for Europe to choose strategic autonomy? “Because the globalised world has changed radically since the end of the Cold War. And because an arc of instability has emerged around us,” Michel said.To the east, the natural and harmless extension of the European democratic space has been brutally halted by Russia in Ukraine. Russia saw it as a major geopolitical threat. That cost Ukraine part of its territory and brought a war in the east that is constantly destabilising the country. Although the context is different, the events in Belarus again highlight the challenge at Europe’s eastern borders.

The president recalled that in the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe faces tensions and unpredictable developments. Libya and Syria are alsosource of insecurity and instability. Greek and Cypriot sovereignty are put under pressure. “Our relationship with Turkey is being severely tested. This is why the next European summit will be dedicated to adopting a strategic European position in relation to the region,” Michel affirmed. The president of the EU Council has recently proposed to hold a multilateral conference on the Eastern Mediterranean to address issues including maritime boundaries, energy, security and migration.

“To the south, Africa. In Europe and among Europe’s leaders, I can feel how much the perception of Africa is changing. Africa’s energy and vitality open up the prospect of an unprecedented alliance. It is up to us, the leaders of Africa and Europe, to make it happen.” Michel continued, affirming that when it comes to alliance of Europe with the United States, beyond common values and historical ties, the EU cannot ignore an increasing number of geopolitical choices that run contrary to its interests, such asweakening multilateralism,withdrawing from the Paris Agreements and pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

According to the president of European Council, the strategic autonomy of EU must pursue three objectives: stability, disseminating its standards, and promoting its values. “Stability first and foremost means physical security. It also means environmental security: air quality, access to drinking water, protection of biodiversity, respect for the planet and for the human species,” he explained without forget economic and social security as well. For Michel the second objective is to safeguard the European capacity to set standards such as on the use of chemical substances, the General Data Protection Regulation and on definition of hate speech on the big platforms. The third objective of Michel is to strength the EU economic and social model, which he described as unique, on the bedrock of European values. That gives to the Europeans great legitimacy and makes them hugely attractive in the eyes of many partners around the world.

Australia gives green flag to controversial Narrabri gas field project- an environmentally threatening decision
Asia Pacific Focus

Australia gives green flag to controversial Narrabri gas field project- an environmentally threatening decision

In an environmentally challenging decision, Australian authorities have approved the controversial project of developing a major coal seam gas field. Energy firm Santos’s Narrabri Gas Project is projected to be one of the biggest project in New South Wales (NSW) and would provide up to 50% of gas demand in the Australian state. Critics however argue that drilling of wells is a major threat to region’s wildlife and natural water supplies and would lead to increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week the country showcased its commitment to contentious gas-led future. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted that increase in gas supplies was a necessity pf country and that it would provide as a transition source between coal and renewable energy sources. Scientists have raised concerns on the plan and have argued that fossil fuels investment will provide a road-block to the country’s climate change and progress achieved in reducing the emissions.

Canberra has projected the Narrabri gas project as this year’s key project infrastructurally, and did it even before it was officially approved. The project is to be located in rural northern New South Wales’ farms and woodlands. NSW independent planning commission announced on Wednesday that it was granting A$3.6bn in a phased manner for the project.

The project development has been opposed by over 95% of the 23,000 public submissions to the commission. The project is planned to run for 25 years. The commission has called the project to be “in public interest” and “any negative impacts can be effectively mitigated with strict conditions.”

The project, if goes as planned, will lead to drilling of at least 850 coal seam gas wells on a site of 95,000 hectares on farming land, which is known to be forest habitat for koalas. As per the estimation provided by the scientists, the project will lead to 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases emission per year. Koalas are also facing threatened extinction in NSW by 2050 owing to this project.

The decision has attracted anger and outcry from various sections of the country. The gas field project was opposed due to its threat to groundwater supplies and faced dissent from environmentalists, Aboriginals in the region and also drought-affected farmers in the region.

The project is yet to be approved by federal environmental sector. Morrison’s government is projecting the project as “low emission” energy source. Though gas technically is seen to produce emissions half of those by coal plants, the studies show that it doesn’t provide any accounts for the methane emissions that are also a part of the process. Despite public outcry and pressure, Australia has stepped back from committing to goal of net zero emissions by 2050. According to the current Paris Climate Agreement, the country’s target for 2030 is to cut emissions by 26-28% on levels of 2005.  

Despite US sanctions, Iran sends fuel to Venezuela, second shipment after May
Americas

Despite US sanctions, Iran sends fuel to Venezuela, second shipment after May

In a blatant violation of US sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela, on Monday Tehran sent vessel Forest carrying oil tankers to Venezuela’s El Palito refinery port. Iran set off not only one, but three vessels containing thousands of barrels of fuel to the South American country to meet its fuel demand. The other two, Fortune and Faxon, would be reaching at Venezuelan shore in the coming days.

Venezuela’s drastic lack of fuel not only caused major drop in its food output, but also impacted supply chain with millions of buses, trucks and emergency vehicles being unable to run and deliver products to different cities. The country has been witnessing one of its worst economic and political crises.

On Sunday, Tehran’s semi-official news agency, Mehr news reported that General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran sent oil shipments to Venezuela in exchange for gold bars. He said, “We gave Venezuela gasoline and received gold bars, and we took the gold to Iran on a plane so that nothing could happen to it along the way.”

This is the second time that Islamic republic gave gasoline to Venezuela since the end of May. In May, Iranian fleet of five vessels carried nearly 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and fuel additives, as well as parts for local refineries to Venezuela. The two nations established strong bond over US sanctions and hard pressed isolation. Iran’s foreign ministry said that any action regarding US sanction to stop them would only push the Islamic country towards “a swift and decisive response.”

Iran tried to send another shipmentcontaining four vessels with 1.1 million barrels of gasoline in August, but got seized by the US forces. The US government called it “largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran” by the Department of Justice. It added that Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, designated as a terrorist organization, was responsible  for the shipment.

US imposed sanctions on Venezuela preventing it to import oil from international market. The US special envoy to Venezuela and Iran, Elliot Abrams said that US sanctions on Venezuela even pulled away Russia and China from sell gasoline to the Latin American country. US has been trying create pressure to oust President Nicolas Maduro, who with his corrupt and mismanaged way of working, have been draining the country for past 6 years.

EU’s migration pact is pleasing nobody
Europe

EU’s migration pact is pleasing nobody

The lukewarm response to the European Union’s much-awaited migration pact has made it a non-starter that even the support of strong countries like Germany and France can’t salvage.

The European Union’s new migration pact is to be based on three courses of action – one, keep migrants in their own countries by helping create a better life for them; two, equipping the border guards and coast guards to more effectively seal off EU borders; three, to redistribute the refugees who do manage to make it between countries who can then either choose to take them in or deport them. But for the 27 member states, this is not a perfect plan. In fact, for many of them it is completely untenable.

EU’s big two – France and Germany – immediately accepted the proposals. But within their countries, it has divided opinion. For the centre-left it doesn’t go far enough to help the refugees, while for the right, it is too lenient. For the southern European countries, or the frontline countries who are at the heart of the crisis, receiving and hosting many of these refugees and migrants, the new policy is only a weak attempt.

In Italy, where arrivals have quadrupled since 2019, the policy is a good step but doesn’t achieve the right balance between solidarity and responsibility. There is no assurance of relocation, both within Europe or deportation outside, considering there are currently no safe countries that would accept the deportees. It doesn’t do enough to address concerns like the sprawling refugee camps like that in Moria, which was gutted in a fire recently.

Meanwhile, its strongest opponents are the Visegrad countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. They are staunchly against the idea of mandatory relocation and are not very keen on the idea of solidarity either. Since the migration crisis began in 2015, these governments have strengthened their borders and refused to accept the mandatory quota of refugees. Countries like Austria and Slovenia have outright rejected the pact. Even civil society actors have criticised aspects of the plan for putting too much burden on frontline countries that are charged with screening the arrivals, for not providing enough support to rescuers and trying to shift the responsibility to other countries like Libya and Turkey which are creating illegal detention centres that are rife with exploitation and violence.

Technology, the real challenge of geopolitics
Geopolitics

Technology, the real challenge of geopolitics

The game of technology is on the chessboard. The game is technological around the environment, energy efficiency, and emissions because today, it is a question of identifying the production and consumption standards to use tomorrow. Whoever guesses today the line of future development is assured of market supremacy. It is not a coincidence that many countries, research centers, and companies invest simultaneously in various conflicting technological lines: synthetic fuels, batteries, electricity, the recovery of resources from waste, methane, nuclear power in its changing forms, biofuels, CO2 capture, energy efficiency, circularity and so on. An example for all: we invest in the future of hydrogen nuclear power, and at the same time, we invest in research to overcome the inefficiencies of the electric batteries available today.

That is the thought underlying the projects presented in mid-September by the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The 225 billion that the New Generation Eu allocates to the environment (more than a third of the overall plan) or the Recovery Fund allocations want to shift the axis of production and consumption of Europe towards technologies that could be dominant tomorrow.In other words, Europe wants to get out of the economic crisis – which combine with the heavy economic brakes induced by health rules – by pushing the environmental lever to return to the position of the world’s technological engine.

For example, this had already happened when Europe identified the GSM technology standard for telephones, which was then adopted by the whole globe. Or with the Euro directives on car emissions. All manufacturers in the world have adopted the evolution standards imposed by Europe, standards that thus became common even outside Europe.

It seems easy, but there is a problem: in targeting the future, each part gives a different prediction. Each country has its favourite forecast of the future. Pressure groups, lobbies, governments, multifaceted public opinion are pushing towards divergent paths.An example? The automobile of the future. There is a lot of talk about electric cars. The additional contribution of CO2 could be eliminated immediately if non-fossil fuels were used on ordinary cars, such as biofuels, alcohol, new biodiesel, or hydrocarbons obtained by synthesizing hydrogen and carbon from CO2 removed from the air.

Second example? The electricity production. Atomic energy has many defects and arouses fear, but it does not emit a wisp of smoke, and it is not fossil energy. Nuclear France has emissions of carbon dioxide of human origin lower than those of Indonesia or Mexico, and a 40 billion recovery plan confirms the atomic choice. Germany has a powerful 130 billion plans, but it is ambiguous. It has decided to close important coal plants to reduce emissions. But Berlin has also chosen to close nuclear stations that could alleviate emissions. And to run implants, it will have to do use of renewable sources and on furious consumption of other Russian methane pumped from afar through the new Nord Stream 2.

What is green Europe most willing to finance? The abandonment of coal, the promotion of nuclear power, the thrust of methane? The electric car or zero climate impact fuels? And why does Italy, despite the 587 projects presented for the Recovery Fund, intend to continue penalizing climate-neutral biofuels with the same disincentives that hold back petrol and diesel?

Outside Europe, the confrontation is between countries. The United States is divided: there is the push to sell methane obtained from fracking around the world, but California gives up nuclear power.China has made a clear choice. The technology of the future will be in every business segment, starting with electric cars.And Russia? Like a spider in the center of the web of energy and emissions, Moscow offers the world solutions of every colors and nuance: gas, oil, nuclear technologies. They have immense forest biomass. And if the climate changes, the infinite spaces of Siberia will become arable, and the short polar route between the Americas and Asia will be navigable.

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