The pledge still allows for some “limited” exceptions of fossil-fuel financing so long as they are consistent with the 2015 Paris pact to curb global temperature increases.
Japan for the first time joined fellow members of the Group of Seven industrialised nations in pledging to end public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of the year to help combat global warming.
“We commit to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022,” G7 energy and climate ministers said in a joint statement following talks in Berlin on Friday.
The term “unabated” refers to projects that do not employ techniques to offset some of the pollution caused by carbon dioxide emissions.
Ending subsidies for the international fossil fuel energy sector was already part of a series of commitments agreed to by around 20 countries at last year’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Six of the G7 club of rich nations were among the signatories at the time Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the United States – but Japan had resisted until now.
“It is good that Japan, the world’s largest financier of fossil fuels, has now joined the other G7 countries in making a shared commitment to end overseas fossil fuel financing,” said Alden Meyer, senior associate at climate policy think tank E3G.
Friday’s pledge still allows for some “limited” exceptions of fossil-fuel financing so long as they are consistent with the 2015 Paris pact to curb global temperature increases. But Meyer said countries wishing to do so would face “a very stiff bar to clear”.
At their G7 talks, ministers also committed to largely end the use of fossil fuels in their electricity sectors by 2035, despite heavy tensions in the power market over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We further commit to a goal of achieving predominantly decarbonised electricity sectors by 2035,” they said.
Clean energy transition
To achieve this, member states promised to ramp up “the necessary technologies and policies for the clean energy transition” and accelerate the phase-out of coal.
The pledge was welcomed by environmental campaigners, at a time when the war in Ukraine has sent energy prices soaring and Western countries are scrambling to wean themselves off Russian imports.
“In a very difficult geopolitical situation, the G7 are united behind an end to fossil fuels by 2035 in the power sector. This is significant progress,” said David Ryfisch of the Germanwatch environmental group.
Speaking at the closing press conference, German Energy Minister Robert Habeck welcomed the pledges made by G7 nations, saying they sent a “strong signal for more climate protection”.
As well as a pledge to stop bankrolling fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of the year, Habeck highlighted the club’s agreement to ditch all “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025.
Samsung starts mass production of advanced 3-nanometre chips
The new chips will be more powerful and efficient and will be used in high-performance computing applications before being put into gadgets such as mobile phones.
Samsung Electronics has become the first chipmaker in the world to mass-produce advanced 3-nanometre microchips as it seeks to catch up with Taiwan’s TSMC.
“Compared to 5nm process, the first-generation 3nm process can reduce power consumption by up to 45 percent, improve performance by 23 percent and reduce area by 16 percent,” Samsung said in a statement on Thursday.
The South Korean conglomerate last month announced a five-year plan to invest 450 trillion won (US$356 billion), saying it would “bring forward the mass production of chips based on the 3-nanometre process”.
The vast majority of the world’s most advanced microchips are made by just two companies – Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC – both of which are running at full capacity to alleviate a global shortage.
Smaller, more powerful
The new chips will be smaller, more powerful and efficient, and will be used in high-performance computing applications before being put into gadgets such as mobile phones.
Samsung is the market leader in memory chips but it has been scrambling to catch up with TSMC in the advanced foundry business.
TSMC dominates more than half of the global foundry market, with clients including Apple and Qualcomm, while Samsung trails with around 16 percent market share, according to TrendForce.
TSMC plans to begin volume production of 3-nanometre technology in the second half of this year, and entered the development stage of 2-nanometre technology last year, according to the company’s 2021 annual report.
China’s market regulator proposes new rules to better implement revised antitrust law
China’s market watchdog, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), on Monday proposed new rules to better implement the recently revised antitrust law.
Nearly 14 years after its current Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) came into effect, China passed a revised version on Friday, which will come into effect on August 1.
Besides slightly amending some current rules, the SAMR added several new ones in the draft, covering descriptions of what deals could be perceived as monopolistic to regulations governing how local authorities with the power to restrict competition should behave. The regulator is seeking public comment for its proposals before July 27.
One of the new rules defined the behavioral method of leveraging digital means, including data and algorithms, technology, capital advantages and platform rules, for reaching a monopoly deal.
The rule will allow better adaptation to the needs of anti-monopoly supervision in the context of the digital economy, regulate relevant competition behaviors, and promote healthy economic development, the SMAR said.
Echoing the new AML, the draft also stipulated a safe-harbor rule clarifying specific standards and procedures to provide more certain compliance guidelines and a more predictable environment for business operators, the SAMR said.
In the antitrust law amendment, it added a safe-harbor rule to vertical monopoly behavior stipulating the law shall not prohibit market operators that can prove their market share is lower than the standard set by the anti-monopoly law-enforcement agency.
Chinese regulators began cracking down on monopolies in late 2020 in multiple industries to prevent the disorderly expansion of capital and foster fair competition. E-commerce firm Alibaba Group was fined a record 18.2 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) for violating anti-monopoly laws, while the food-delivery platform Meituan was penalized 3.442 billion yuan for abusing its market dominance.
As the revised AML increased penalty fines putting fresh emphasis on the digital economy, the cost of illegality to enterprises will be greatly increased, and enterprises will also face greater compliance tests, Beijing-based law firm JT&N said on Saturday.
Floating city agreement revised for residential real estate
The Government of the Maldives has revealed that the agreement for The Floating City Project was revised to pave the way for the development of residential real estate.
The floating city is being developed in a lagoon near Aarah, Kaafu Atoll. The lagoon was previously leased under the resort development model. However, the agreement with the contractor Dutch Docklands has been revised to change the development model to an Integrated Tourism Development Model.
The revised agreement was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and contractor Dutch Docklands on June 23. Upon the change to the Integrated Tourism Development Model, the contractor has paid a transfer fee of USD1 million to the state for the lagoon.
The government stated that the previous lease agreement did not allow the development of residential real estate and that the Integrated Tourism Development Model will pave the way for the development of housing units under the project.
Five lagoons have been leased to Dutch Docklands for the project, two of which have been re-leased to another company by the contractor. The government stated that the revised agreement allows the development of one of the lagoons and that no change has been made to the deadline for the completion of the project.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said the government is working on diversifying the tourism industry by introducing different concepts of tourism development. He said that The Floating City Project has raised the profile of the Maldives in the global media, and that government has received proposals to develop floating guesthouses. He added that the Maldives is open to any investments and concepts that are beneficial to the country.
Also at the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dutch Docklands Paul Van de Camp said the floating city concept is different from the one agreed upon with the earlier administration in 2010 and that he expects the revised project will help solve the housing crisis in the Maldives. He noted that previous discussions involved pricing housing units at USD250,000 but assured that the housing units developed under this project would be affordable. He also said that the floating city will be open for public viewing in August and that a large part of the structure has been completed in Thilafushi and will be assembled at Lagoon-7 near Aarah. He said the biggest challenge is logistical issues pertaining to the transport of 1,400 containers to the Maldives.
The Floating City project is the first of its kind to ever be developed in the world. The city will span a lagoon of 200 hectares, comprising of various establishments such as residences, shops, and hospitals. All of the establishments will be designed and developed to float on shallow water. The project is expected to cost about USD1 billion.
Dutch Docklands stated the floating city will be reachable within 10 minutes by boat from Male’ City and will be large enough to house 20,000 people. It will be designed in a pattern similar to brain coral and consist of 5,000 floating units including houses, restaurants, shops and schools, with canals running in between.
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