Connect with us

Economy

The $3 Trillion Green Plan To Get The Economy Out Of Intensive Care – Forbes

Published

on


The International Energy Agency has outlined a $3 trillion plan to restart the global economy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, saying that governments have a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to create jobs while decarbonizing infrastructure.

Released today, the IEA says its three-year roadmap for clean energy and efficiency investment would create nine million jobs every year and additional economic growth of 1.1% annually. The agency claims its plan will eliminate 4.5 billion tonnes (5 billion U.S. tons) of greenhouse gas emissions by 2023.

Including macroeconomic analysis from the International Monetary Fund, the plan is likely to attract the attention of policy makers facing an unprecedented economic challenge: earlier this month, the OECD policy forum forecast the most severe global peacetime recession in a century as a result of the pandemic.

But the world also faces an even larger, potentially more deadly challenge in the form of man-made climate change. And while restrictions caused by COVID-19 worldwide caused a temporary drop in greenhouse gas emissions, recent research has shown that, as lockdowns are loosened, those emissions are already rebounding.

“Global carbon emissions flat-lined in 2019 and are set for a record decline this year,” IEA noted with the release of the report. “While this drop, which results from economic trauma, is nothing to celebrate, it provides a base from which to put emissions into structural decline.”

The report assesses six sectors of the economy—electricity, transport, buildings, industry, fuels and innovation—to home in on over 30 measures it says would generate the most value in terms of economic recovery and decarbonization. These include retrofitting buildings for better efficiency, accelerating renewable energy projects like solar PV farms, expanding rail infrastructure, and reforming fossil fuel subsidies.

Of crucial concern for treasuries, the IEA report presents the abatement cost for each measure analyzed, which is a measure of the financial cost or savings associated with reducing emissions by 1 tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Many energy efficiency measures, the report notes, have a negative abatement cost, which means they can save consumers and industry money while reducing emissions.

Among the other benefits accrued, the IEA says its plan would result in a 5% reduction in air pollution globally, give 420 million people in developing countries access to “clean cooking solutions” such as biogas and electricity, and provide electricity access to an additional 270 million people.

In remarks accompanying the report, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said governments should take the opportunity to invest in sustainable solutions, or risk baking-in economic and environmental failure.

“As they design economic recovery plans, policymakers are having to make enormously consequential decisions in a very short space of time,” Birol said. “These decisions will shape economic and energy infrastructure for decades to come and will almost certainly determine whether the world has a chance of meeting its long-term energy and climate goals.”

The remarks correspond closely with those of climate advocates and veterans such as Christiana Figueres, the climate diplomat who last month explained that the recovery from coronavirus had the potential to make or break the fight to reduce global emissions.

Indeed, the IEA is not the only agency to have presented a green recovery plan: in April, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) unveiled a comprehensive, longer-term roadmap for reconfiguring the economy in the wake of coronavirus. And this month, management consultants McKinsey unveiled a strategy it says governments could use as a framework for deploying stimulus packages in a sustainable way. Such measures are supported by the available science: research by the University of Oxford indicates that investing in green infrastructure will not only lead to robust economic recovery but also to long-term positive outcomes for societies worldwide.

MORE FROM FORBESHow Do You Make Covid Recovery Cash Count? McKinsey Has A Plan

For its part, the IEA, a Paris-based organization which for many years was chiefly concerned with the supply of crude oil, has in recent years become something of an evangelist for sustainability. Last month the agency claimed that the European Green Deal would prove to be the “motor for the recovery” of the EU.

Introducing today’s report, Birol was unequivocal about the significance of the current moment. “Governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot their economies and bring a wave of new employment opportunities while accelerating the shift to a more resilient and cleaner energy future,” he said.

“Policy makers are having to make hugely consequential decisions in a very short space of time as they draw up stimulus packages. Our sustainable recovery plan provides them with rigorous analysis and clear advice on how to tackle today’s major economic, energy and climate challenges at the same time.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Long-term strategies to control COVID-19 must treat health and economy as equally important – EurekAlert

Published

on


Strategies for the safe reopening of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) from months of strict social distancing in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic must recognise that preserving people’s health is as important as reviving the economy, argue an international team of researchers.

The team also say that strategies need to be based on local epidemic growth rate at the time, social and economic costs, existing health systems capabilities and detailed plans to implement and sustain the strategy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for over half a million deaths globally. Many LMICs responded to the pandemic by introducing a number of measures from physical distancing to strict social distancing.

These measures have proved relatively successful in containing the disease and limiting the number of deaths in places where the risk of transmission is high, public health systems and usage are suboptimal and awareness of disease prevention practices is low. However, they have often come with tremendous negative social, economic and psychological effects.

To prevent further negative impacts of lockdown, many countries are now looking to ‘reopen’, risking population health, especially given shortcomings in surveillance infrastructure and poor diagnostic capabilities.

In a paper published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, a team of epidemiologists from the University of Cambridge, the University of Bern, BRAC University and the National Heart Foundation in Bangladesh, have examined three community-based exit strategies, and recommend their scopes, limitations and the appropriate application in the LMICs.

Dr Rajiv Chowdhury from the University of Cambridge, lead author of the paper, said: “Successfully re-opening a country requires consideration of both the economic and social costs. Governments should approach these options with a mind-set that health and economy both are equally important to protect – reviving the economy should not take priority over preserving people’s health.”

The three approaches considered are:

*Sustained mitigation

Sustained ‘mitigation-only’ approaches such as those adopted in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and other European countries, involve basic prevention measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing and the isolation of positive cases after testing.

However, the researchers point out that the relative success and ease of implementation of these approaches in high-income settings was aided by a number of factors. For example, high-income countries have the capacity to implement mass testing, population surveillance and case isolation to contain the epidemic, in addition to a high number of trained contact tracers operating in a relatively small and sparse population and high levels of adherence to the measures, including home quarantine and hygiene advice.

By contrast, in LMICs, a sustained mitigation-only approach may be unfeasible due to poor or absent nationwide population surveillance, contact tracing, testing infrastructure and critical care. For example, LMICs generally have limited supply of ventilators (around 48,000 for India’s 1.3 billion people), personal protective equipment, trained healthcare personnel and safe working conditions, compromising the healthcare system’s effectiveness.

*Zonal lockdowns

Zonal lockdowns involve identifying and ‘cordoning off’ new outbreak clusters with a high number of cases, keeping contact between zones low and containing the disease within a small geographic area.

However, the authors point out that any successful implementation of zonal lockdown requires regular data feedback operations in real time to identify hotspots, including information on newly confirmed cases, updated region-specific reproduction and growth rates, and deaths by age. This may be especially difficult to introduce in LMICs due to the absence of widespread population surveillance on random selections of the population and poor reporting and testing capabilities – for example, Pakistan conducts only 0.09 tests daily per 1,000 individuals compared to 0.52 in France.

Additionally, control of transmission within zones may be an enormous undertaking. In India, where this approach has been employed, the infection size within a cordoned zone can be as high as 100-200 times that outside the zone.

Countries seeking to introduce such measures should establish within the lockdown zone public health measures, including house-to-house surveillance and case-referral systems, and emergency services. They should also create buffer zones to reduce the rates of transmission from outside the zone. Such measures may only be effective when overall population transmission is relatively low and reducing.

*Rolling lockdowns

Intermittent rolling lockdowns are now advocated by the World Health Organization in various LMICs. These involve implementing strict social distancing for a set number of days before a period of relaxation. Rolling lockdowns may be particularly useful in LMICs with dense populations, where this is a high potential for contact, weak health systems and poor contact tracing.

A modelling study published by the team in May showed that a system involving 50 days of strict lockdown followed by 30 days of relaxation, enabling the economy to ‘breathe’ and recuperate, could reduce the reproduction number to 0.5, reduce the strain on health systems and considerably reduce the number of deaths compared to a situation with no lockdown.

Professor Oscar Franco, of the University of Bern and senior author of the paper, said: “Rolling lockdowns need be flexible and tailored to the specific country. The frequency and duration of the lockdowns or relaxed periods should be determined by the country based on local circumstances. They don’t necessarily need to be nationwide – they can also involve a large zone or province with very high incidence of COVID-19.”

Dr Shammi Luhar of the University of Cambridge and co-author of the paper, added: “These three strategies should not be considered as one or the other. A country should further adapt and could combine them as needed.”

###

Reference

Chowdhury, R et al. Long-term strategies to control COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries: an options overview of non-pharmacological interventions; 13 July 2020

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Jordan presses sweeping tax evasion crackdown to aid ailing economy – The Globe and Mail

Published

on


Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz speaks to media during a news conference in Amman, Jordan on April 9, 2019.

Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz promised on Sunday to deepen a crackdown on tax evasion that officials say has deprived the country’s cash-strapped economy of billions of dollars in revenue in recent years.

The government has gone after senior businessmen and former politicians suspected of tax dodging, money laundering and customs evasion in a weeks-long campaign that has gained greater urgency with the hit to state finances from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Protecting public money and fighting corruption is a national duty,” Mr. al-Razzaz said in his weekly television address to the country.

Story continues below advertisement

Tax authorities have raided around 650 companies so far, sometimes accompanied by security forces, according to officials who say this is the biggest campaign to combat tax evasion in decades.

The government said it had frozen the assets of dozens of companies and businessmen on suspected tax evasion charges. It added that it would track offshore havens where wealthy Jordanians have long parked cash to avoid taxes.

Some critics have accused the government of using the campaign to carry out a witch hunt against its political enemies, including some of Jordan’s leading business figures, including former ministers and senior politicians.

Officials deny that, saying the goal is to ensure justice and that no one is above the law.

The government has been using its wider powers under a state of emergency since March to give prosecutors and the main anti-corruption agency greater powers, and stiffen penalties.

A two-month coronavirus lockdown has crippled Jordanian businesses and slashed state revenues by tens of millions of dollars, leading to the sharpest economic contraction in two decades.

The government expects the economy to shrink by 3.5 per cent this year, a far cry from an International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimate of 2-per-cent growth before the pandemic.

Story continues below advertisement

The aid-dependent country, already undertaking a tough three-year IMF reform program, tapped international debt markets this month to borrow US$1.75-billion.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Jordan presses sweeping tax evasion crackdown to aid ailing economy – TheChronicleHerald.ca

Published

on


By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz promised on Sunday to deepen a crackdown on tax evasion that officials say has deprived the country’s cash-strapped economy of billions of dollars’ revenue in recent years.

The government has gone after senior businessmen and former politicians suspected of tax dodging, money laundering and customs evasion in a weeks-long campaign that has gained greater urgency with the hit to state finances from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Protecting public money and fighting corruption is a national duty,” Razzaz said in his weekly television address to the nation.

Tax authorities have raided around 650 companies so far, sometimes accompanied by security forces, according to officials who say this is the biggest campaign to combat tax evasion in decades.

The government said it had frozen the assets of dozens of companies and businessmen on suspected tax evasion charges. It added that it would track offshore havens where wealthy Jordanians have long parked cash to avoid taxes.

Some critics have accused the government of using the campaign to carry out a witch hunt against its political enemies, including some of Jordan’s leading business figures, including former ministers and senior politicians.

Officials deny that, saying the goal is to ensure justice and that no one is above the law.

The government has been using its wider powers under a state of emergency since March to give prosecutors and the main anti-corruption agency greater powers, and stiffen penalties.

A two-month coronavirus lockdown has crippled Jordanian businesses and slashed state revenues by tens of millions of dollars, leading to the sharpest economic contraction in two decades.

The government expects the economy to shrink by 3.5% this year, a far cry from an International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimate of 2% growth before the pandemic.

The aid-dependent country, already undertaking a tough three-year IMF reform programme, tapped international debt markets this month to borrow $1.75 billion.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending