As the environment and an epidemic of coronavirus changed the struggle of the superpowers.
the Global economy have long predicted a global crisis, so the Chinese fashion industry, just launched the inevitable process. The most influential players — the United States, China and Europe — have explored ways to adapt the world to himself, and the latter put on the environment. A good goal to make the world “greener” has become for the EU a way to increase its influence and pandemic COVID-19 gave for this unique opportunity.
climate weapon — in the material “Tape.ru”.
the Fight against global warming in 2019 reached a new level. Lethargic and not too successful negotiations of world leaders on emission reduction blew a Swedish student, Greta ecoactivity Thunberg. The youth movement is common in the West, but “school strike for the climate”, launched Greta, get out of the number, though, because suddenly received coordinated support among those targeted, namely among the heads of countries and global corporations.
For the year Greta talked with many influential people. Among them is former U.S. President, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, they all supported the girl. The Minister for environmental protection of great Britain Michael Gove after a conversation with her even said that he felt ashamed. In September, 16-year-old ecoactivists invited to speak at the UN summit on climate change where she is in a very emotional form accused everyone in the theft of her childhood. So when Time magazine named Thunberg “man of the year”, editor’s choice looked amazing.
Hard to believe that Gove and other politicians knew nothing about the problems of ecology Greta. But influential people are fast only in case of specific threats or opportunities for your country or company. Otherwise, go lengthy statements, memoranda without clear commitments and years of negotiations.
And yet, in 2019 the European bureaucracy started to work with unusual speed. Apparently, this time the EU has found a clear and understandable advantage, and economic.
in November, after only a few months after the speech, Greta, EU Finance Ministers agreed to stop giving money to oil and gas projects. The decision was a sharp tightening of European rhetoric against fossil fuels. Earlier environmental agenda promoted only the green party. They have long been in politics, but did not come to the forefront and over the years has been able to insist on only the closure of coal-fired power plants.
In December, the new head of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen, in fact, the first person of the European Union, called the change to��of imata their top priority. Promptly a so-called green strategy, where the solution to the climate change and environmental problems are neither more nor less than a way to ensure the sustainability of the EU economy.
the Initiative will require investments in the amount of a trillion euros in environmental projects during the first ten years. Thanks to her, Europe wants to become the first region in the world where, by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced to zero. Part of the strategy was to help States in their companies and a tightening of the conditions of imports from countries with harmful production.
the Speed and coherence of response is particularly surprising, if we recall the history of the issue. For the first time about global warming began in the 1960-ies. In itself, the increase in global temperature of questioned no one questions, the only question is, how important is the anthropogenic factor. There are two polar views. First — person directly affected by and responsible for the increase in global temperature. The second warming has happened in history without humanity, therefore, now effect on him, no one can. But the scientific community is generally in agreement — has influence, and this influence is negative.
the Result of years of debate resulted in the signing of 11 December 1997 of the Kyoto Protocol. The parties undertook to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, the perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. Become parties to the agreement, almost all countries in the UN and the EU, only the United States refused to ratify the document. The rest of the country is also not in a hurry. The Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005, after more than seven years, and the first period began in 2008.
Washington went against the whole world due that considered the agreement a threat to its economy. After all, developing countries, among them China and India has not undertaken commitments in the first phase. The authors of the document wanted such States continued economic growth, but the United States regarded these conditions as undue benefit to competitors. In fact, the correctness of this position was acknowledged by other participants. The second commitment period, from 2012 to 2015, was held without Russia, Japan, New Zealand and other countries.
replace the failed document came to the Paris agreement approved in 2015. One of its authors was the United States that seemed to removed a lot of problems and contradictions. But all the cards mixed won the elections Donald trump.
in No hurry to work with the new agreement and Russia, which ratified it in September of last year. Active supporter of the new Treaty was China, but perhaps only because its obligations were limited to reducing emissions growth.
Main��e difference of the position of Swedish female activists is that it requires changes right now without the any approvals, not only from the authorities — from all people at once. Greta refused from meat consumption and does not fly planes, because both leave too big a carbon footprint (the sum of emissions in the production of goods or consumption of services). You can talk about gaps in the positions of Schoolgirls to criticize her for her radical and blame the PR, but there is a clear change point of view.
Previously, the main harm to conventional disposable plastic cups and packages was that they do not decompose and pollute nature. Solution seemed more efficient waste management is separate collection, processing, recycling or incineration in facilities with clean exhausts. Greta reminded the whole world — their production leaves a carbon footprint, not to fix the disposal.
the Position was, on the one hand universal, and on the other — simple and understandable for everyone. Not by chance in new York, September 20 for a rally with Greta gathered about 250 thousand people, and on September 27 in Montreal came to 500 thousand people — the largest meeting in the history of the city. Before the action with a schoolgirl talked Prime Minister Canada Justin Trudeau.
This ideology, as it seems, contrary to current economic models, where the main factor of success is the GDP growth — an increase in the production of goods and services in the calculation of the market value. However, there are two ways to increase this value. The first is to produce more goods and services. The second is to use less or the same but more expensive. It seems that the second option has no chance, but Europe has the potential to revolutionize consciousness and the economy.
the Greatest jackpot from the increase in consumption around the world broke the China. Unprecedented economic growth the country has secured export, still is the basis of welfare. In 1988 it amounted to 50,6 billion dollars, and in 2018-m — 2,14 trillion dollars. Adjusted for inflation — 33 times more. Russia’s exports in 2019 amounted to 424,6 billion, but two thirds of it spent on fuel and energy. China has the overwhelming share of export products with high added value after processing.
the Advantage of China has become not only cheap labor, but also indifference to environmental issues. Chinese production pollute air, water and soil, in the country have greatly reduced forest and degraded land. A symbol of these changes was the famous smog in Chinese cities. So, in 2015, even in the days when the Chinese President XI Jinping spoke at the world to��of perentie UN on climate change, in Beijing recorded levels of smog in 945 micrograms/cubic meter. According to the standards of the world health organization (who), the maximum considered level of 25 micrograms/cubic meter.
we Can say that people literally gasped. Organization Berkeley Earth later, using the official data of the Chinese authorities, estimate that in 2012-2013 from the problems with dirty air in the country died 183 people per hour is 17 percent of all deaths.
In 2011, the country began protests. Even prone to riots, the Chinese gathered a rally against the construction of new and development of existing facilities. For example, against rudoperspektiva plant in Sefane in Sichuan province; work against chemical plants in Dalian and Ningbo.
Since 2013, China takes the program environment in which is closed the most is dirty enterprise and go check all the others. With 2015, reduced steel output. One of the main points was the transfer of utilities and energy from coal to gas. In 2018, the country introduced a tax on pollution and promised to reduce in two years the consumption of coal by 5-10 percent.
Measures seem to be serious. China continue tops the list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions, it accounts for more than a quarter of the total. While going after the United States significantly reduce emissions, even without the any agreements and loud statements. Beijing, despite promises to switch to green energy continues to build dirty business. The end of the current five-year plan in the country will put into operation 121 coal plant. Their total capacity, according to Global Energy Monitor — 148 gigawatts, and it’s more than it produces all the stations of Europe. For the last 20 years, the Chinese generation based on coal has increased from 200 to 972 gigawatts. As a result, at the moment, the country burns about half the coal on the planet. Accordingly, few believe that China plans to actually reduce emissions.
the Most obvious reason for this “slowness” look the problems with the economy. Start caring about the environment exactly coincided with a sharp slowdown in China’s GDP. In 2010 it was 10.4% in 2011 and 9.2 per cent, and in 2012 this figure was 7.7 percent. In 2019, the economy has barely topped six percent, as evaluated by experts, even without the epidemic of the coronavirus is unlikely to be left to the same level in 2020. In the first half of 2019, the volume of investment in alternative energy fell by 39 percent. first, they were not too successful, and secondly, most effective technologies borrowed from other countries that it was fraught with problems, especially against the background of a trade war with the United States.
sometimes it is impossible even technically. So, in addition to consumer goods, China is the world leader in the production of concrete and cement. It accounts for half of total world production. And cement manufacturing, remains a significant source of carbon dioxide on the planet. Yet China produces more than half of all pork in the world and remains the main consumer of beef — both industries have a large carbon footprint.
the Western economy is often perceived as the most successful, but this does not mean that it has no problems. They do not relate average welfare, and the specific people who are able to Express their dissatisfaction in the election. Trump in 2016, enough of this discontent to lead US. Worry about your job due migrants and the closure of enterprises, the Americans believed an unexpected candidate. And after almost the main, than bragged about on his Twitter the eccentric businessman, was the increase in the number of jobs and the return of production in the country.
In Europe, the problem of unemployment even before the outbreak of coronavirus, was still more acute. In France, it was close to nine percent, and among young people exceeded 20 percent. In Spain, Italy, and Greece remain unemployed for over one third of all citizens under the age of 25. Unemployment benefits if they receive at this age, do not solve the problem.
against this background, the Eurozone economy almost did not grow. Attempts to spur her to accelerate inflation to the target of two percent and an increase in investment activity have not worked. The European Central Bank lowered its key interest rate to minus 0.5 percent, jeopardizing the entire banking system of Europe, but change the main problem of it not in Europe, nowhere to invest. The labor force is too expensive and has too good.
the Obvious solution, called the right opposition, is seen as protectionism, allowing to make production and create jobs. But then goods and services become more expensive for the population — and it’s not like consumers. To find a solution that would suit everyone is possible only for certain sectors. For example, for agriculture, which for many years received a huge subsidy and competitive quotas.
to Explain to citizens why they should buy European products if they cost more overseas, easy — health care. And that is why the EU needs to buy produced in Europe an expensive smartphone, not a cheap Chinese, is more complicated. But entering into the agenda of the environment eliminates the problem. first, can be used to urge citizens to care about the environment, and secondly, enter the fee for products with a large carbon footprint.
In Europe, began to prepare financial infrastructure for such actions, including developing financial reporting standards that show how companies are fighting for the environment. Not expecting that the Government pension Fund of Norway (GPFG), the largest sovereign Fund in the world, began to get rid of shares of companies whose activity Fund analysts called the most harmful to the climate. In the first place it is the suppliers of coal.
in Advance to meet these requirements was undertaken and one of the richest corporations in the world — Microsoft. Its leaders have promised for 30 years to completely offset the negative impact on the environment from 1975 to allocate one billion dollars to climate protection. Next biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Singapore’s Pavilion Energy begins to demand from the sellers report about the carbon footprint of fuel production. The company expects the global implementation of its methods.
Or they will face a loss of attachments, or they will have to modify the process that costs money. The problem is the decrease in the consumption of goods in the EU — one of the main markets in the world (in 2017 on Europe accounted for 31.6 percent of world imports).
it is Difficult to say what scale will take process, but Europe is prepared to suffer more than others. For example, in Berlin refuse from disposable coffee cups. The idea makes sense, because in the production and disposal of thousands of cups of coffee with lids, according to Rethink Plastic, stands 63 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Even earlier in Europe decided to ban disposable plastic utensils and Cutlery, straws and cotton swabs. The law comes into force from 2021.
And even in 2019, the Europeans have less to fly. In Sweden and Germany reduced the number of air passengers and the increased flow on the Railways. Deutsche Bahn even set a historical record on the transport.
In the ecological restructuring of intervened the biggest pandemic of the 21st century. COVID-19 scared the whole world, primarily Europe and the United States, but at the same time gave the most convincing arguments for change. Experts and politicians agree that the crisis will be deeper than in 2008.
the solution to the problem through the quarantine has exposed huge problems in the world economy. And that’s even without considering the argument against air travel, which could think of Greta, the coronavirus spread around the world due “irresponsible” travellers.
we had a system of production chains if they involve several countries the epidemic, only one country disrupts all. It happens in Russia with automobile plantmi, which are running out of foreign components. From financial problems, the company can protect the state, but they are willing to invest only in their own businesses and support their citizens. As Germany and France, not excluding nationalization of the most important industries. To receive such help multinational companies much more difficult.
Chief economist and investment officer at Saxo Bank Stin Jakobsen considers not only the crisis is the biggest he’s seen in 30 years, but calls defines a specific culprit:
agree With him head of sector of international military and political and military economic problems of the HSE Vasily Kashin:
Many countries for a long time, if you have the resource, struggle with transnational corporations as they get too much influence. The EU is suing the largest U.S. technology companies over the so-called tax on GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, sometimes they were added by Microsoft). Taxi drivers seeking a ban on taxi aggregator Uber. The United States banned Facebook to launch its own cryptocurrency Libra, seeing in it a threat to its financial system. In China, foreign automakers were required to give at least 50 percent of the shares in your company to local companies. The first exception was Tesla. Amid drop in investment, Beijing has allowed the company to build in Shanghai completely its plant.
the Situation with coronavirus gives States a definite asset. In the case of more serious problems — after all nobody knows, how deadly will the next threat — the production of commodities must be capable of operating in order of national importance. Otherwise you’ll have as happens in the U.S. rushed to purchase the necessary equipment for artificial lung ventilation (ALV) in China, which seemed to not complete a trade war. Social protection of employees of the industries the responsibility of the state, and hence his additional rights.
In this sense, the European economy fell into a perfect storm, but in a good way. She has a goal, there are means for change and have a loyalty to citizens, are willing to be patient and understanding — why. There is even a graphic illustration of why you need to consume less. In China for the month of the epidemic the emission of harmful substances was reduced by 25 percent.
That Ursula von der Leyen speaks of the need for a new “Marshall plan”, implying that a radical change in the EU economy. To solve environmental problems and coronavirus together asked and large companies in the main economies of Europe — Germany. In late April the European Commission presented a plan to the amount of two trillion euros to resolve the crisis. Later France and Germania proposed to establish a Fund for the restoration of the economy volume of 500 billion euros. It is obvious that such large funds will be spend taking into account the previously chosen strategy.
perhaps the economic component of the fight against global warming “repent” of trump. The US President publicly mocked the environmental agenda, but in January 2020 stated that he does not believe climate change is a hoax. It is not excluded that the policy is interested in the ability to force us companies to return to the country of their production. In addition, a ban on investments in “dirty” operations in China will have to approve even his irreconcilable enemies.
At first glance, such a European paradigm of Russian hurt. Will miss of investment and demand of the oil and gas industry, and a direct impact on the budget and the ruble. Problems will arise from the export of Russian coal. Reduced demand for Russian goods hazardous industries, and enough of them — Russian cities regularly occupy space in the top of the dirtiest locations in the world.
the Head of “RUSNANO” Anatoly Chubais is sure that if Russia does not go the way of the “real emission reduction, will end up in serious international confrontation”.
His fears are not without reason. The Ministry of economic development believes that by 2035 the carbon footprint of the Russian power industry is 3.5 times higher than the world average. Energy Minister Alexander Novak immediately after the restrictive measures and sanctions calls one of the dangers of demand for Russian energy resources trend to promote a worldwide “green agenda”.
But there in such danger and its possibility. As the Russian economy is too small to single-handedly make the world play by the rules, so she will have to make something of development models. It seems that it is the European idea gives the country the best chance for successful development.
In the world there are three centers of power — USA (GDP of 21.4 trillion), the EU (18.3 trillion, without the UK of 15.6 trillion) and China (14,1 trillion), remaining considerably behind. Each of the trio tries to use its advantages. The US’s military superiority and the dollar, whose special position among the currencies gives the key to the regulation of the world economy — the White house could impose sanctions, are forced to obey all.
China as “world factory” is not against the subjugation of the entire production of the planet. He became a leader in issuing loans to third world countries, in exchange for which “buying” their economies. The loans are given for projects of Chinese companies, that is, the money is returned, but the countries are still needs. To repay borrowing, they can not, so take KiThai conditions.
the New territories give the Chinese access to mineral resources, such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and the opportunity to reduce the cost of production. If necessary, take out there hazardous enterprises and to export waste. The last method is also invented by them — to fill up the poor and dependent countries began Europe. Thus, 77 percent of waste on the giant dump in the Nigerian city of Lagos — European origin, and 15 percent from China and the United States. Meanwhile, China itself something were plastic and plastic scrap from Europe, but in 2017 I refused to do it. Russia also acts as a testing ground for European waste, not household, and radioactive. Brought into the country up to a million tonnes of nuclear waste, and what to do with them is unknown.
Easy to see that the American idea of Russia can only be subordinate (and preferably without nuclear weapons), and in the China — raw materials appendage. Meanwhile, the ecological concept of Europe does not impose any restrictions.
the Struggle for the environment in all it becomes for the next decades what became the space exploration for the second half of the twentieth century.
In the US, with the opinion about the human influence on global warming agree 86 percent of adolescents and 24 percent participated in the protests. And we must understand that they are the future of the first world economy. Even though the money brings that kind of enthusiasm right now — you can look at the market capitalization of Tesla, the most expensive automaker in the world, which produces far fewer cars than the industry leaders. Even the largest in decades, the economic crisis could not bring down the company’s shares. Such sentiments will increase, because environmental problems are global, to work with them anyway.
import Substitution, which, albeit largely forced, for many years engaged in Russia, is quite in line with the environmental agenda. From the point of view of energy with minimal carbon footprint Russia has all chances to become a world leader. Huge reserves of natural gas allow if you wish to completely switch to much more environmentally friendly natural gas as fuel to replace coal for heating and some industries. The country has developed nuclear power industry and hydropower. Green considered harmful both, but the greenhouse gases they have no relationship.
According to the International renewable energy Agency IRENA, the technical potential of wind energy in the country is 80 thousand terawatt hours per year, although most of it is not in the most populated areas. This level no state in the world. In the end, the Russians are already flying airplanes much more rarely than in Europe, preferring Railways, and the armed forcese often think about the environment.
in Other words, change for Russia will be less radical than for most countries of the world. The issue of financial costs is also ambiguous. Only due dirty air, according to the Organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD), Russia in 2015 lost 447,6 billion, or 12.5 percent of GDP. And there is water pollution, which leads to increase in diseases, and forest fires arising due black lumberjacks. There are dumps around the cities, poisoning the atmosphere. This problems still have to solved, and the later start — the more you have to pay. Russia may not be the biggest effort to be in the vanguard of a new world order. Unless you missed the point and will not try to obtain immediate benefits, which will inevitably lead to further delays.