Tag Archives: change

New Zealand introduces climate change laws for the world’s first financial company | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand has become the first country to introduce a law requiring banks, insurance companies and investment managers to report on the impact of climate change on their businesses, said climate change minister James Shaw on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH: City of Glenorchy on Lake Wakatipu and New Zealand’s Otago river March 7, 2017. REUTERS / Henning Gloystein / File Photo

All banks with total assets of more than NZ $ 1 billion ($ 703 million), insurance companies with total assets under management of more than NZ $ 1 billion, and all equity and debt issuers listed on the country’s stock exchanges must make disclosures.

“We cannot achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 unless the financial sector knows what impact their investment will have on the climate,” Shaw said in a statement.

“This law will bring climate risk and resilience to the heart of financial and business decision making.”

The bill, which has been introduced to the country’s parliament and is expected to receive its first reading this week, requires financial firms to explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

About 200 of the country’s largest companies and some foreign companies that meet the NZ $ 1 billion threshold will be regulated in the law.

Disclosures will be required for the financial year starting next year after the law is passed, meaning that the first reports will be made by companies in 2023.

The New Zealand government said last September it would produce a financial sector report on climate risks and those who could not disclose had to explain their reasons.

The New Zealand government has introduced several policies to reduce emissions during its second term including pledging to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025 and buying only zero-emission public transport buses from the middle of this decade.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who returned to power last October handed the biggest electoral victory for her center-left Labor Party in half a century, called climate change “the nuclear-free moment of our generation.”

($ 1 = 1.4227 New Zealand dollars)

Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney; Edited by Matthew Lewis

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PM Imran Khan stressed the need for renewed international cooperation on climate change | Instant News



Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the need for “renewed international cooperation and partnerships” to tackle climate change, in a letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates.

PM Imran Khan, in his letter, dated April 6, stated that he was reading Gates’ book “Avoiding a Climate Disaster” and found it an interesting read.

I find it very interesting because it provides “a policy-oriented analysis of the critical issues of climate change challenges facing the global community”, said the prime minister.

The prime minister spoke about Pakistan’s efforts in this regard, saying that his government “has moved to counter the effects of climate change through various policy initiatives”.

Pakistan is ‘at the forefront’, but a ‘very low contributor’ to the crisis

He said Pakistan was a country “at the forefront of the climate emergency as it ranks highly among those” continuously affected “by climate change over the past two decades.

“The effects of changing monsoon patterns, strange weather events, melting Himalayan glaciers and rising sea levels – all add to our vulnerability,” the letter said.

It states that despite this fact, Pakistan is a “very low contributor” to global greenhouse gas emissions – adding “less than 1%”.

“However, as a fast developing country, we seek to move towards a climate sensitive economic growth that relies on stronger international cooperation and partnerships,” said PM Imran Khan.

He said his government, in this spirit, therefore “pledged to offer a climate solution to a world focused on nature-based solutions, towards a climate-compatible growth trajectory.”

Action on the ground to tackle climate change

PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan, as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, while continuing to work with the international community on its implementation, is also focused on translating the country’s own vision into action on the ground.

“After successfully planting one billion trees in KP province from 2014-18, we are starting to plant another 10 Billion Trees across the country, including the restoration of more than 1 million hectares of degraded forest and expansion of protected areas,” the prime minister said. to Gates.

The prime minister said that these initiatives have shown that they not only protect nature and restore ecosystems to fight climate change, but also expand ecotourism and create thousands of green jobs for youth and local communities.

Turning to clean energy

He said Pakistan is also committed to switching to clean, low-carbon energy and plans to move 60% of its energy to clean sources by 2030.

This will require “a massive expansion of solar, wind and hydro power generation in the country”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government had recently suspended two coal projects that had been financially negotiated, replacing them with an influx of hydropower “which shows solid political commitment”.

“Pakistan is also transitioning its transportation sector, targeting 30% of vehicles to become electric by 2030,” he added.

‘Nature leaves us no choice’

The prime minister says Pakistan is being forced to adapt to climate change at the level of its effects that are witnessed.

“In this sense, nature leaves us no choice. We must invest our vast economic resources to build early warning systems, rapidly deploy climate-smart agriculture and increase the efficiency of our dwindling and increasingly unpredictable freshwater resources,” wrote Prime Minister.

Speaking to Gates, PM Imran Khan said that given his passionate interest in climate change, “results-oriented dialogue and collaboration between our team of experts can help each other advance our common vision”.

“This could include developing partnerships towards accessing and disseminating the best available technologies for clean energy and electric vehicles and cooperation towards climate resilient agriculture,” the prime minister said.

Referring to Gates’ book on climate change, he said: “As you correctly pointed out in your book, the climate change challenge is one that requires broad-scale collaboration, trusted cooperation and a shared green vision for development across countries.”

“I believe that the world has no choice but to walk this path and set a new development paradigm for the 21st century through renewed international cooperation and partnerships,” PM Imran Khan concluded.

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Change and revolution: Part – I | Instant News


By Dr Naazir Mahmood

In a recent episode of receiving calls from the public, PM Imran Khan made some unpleasant comments. His ideas about what causes rape, and how obscenity and vulgarity are responsible for sexual crimes, are unpredictable and groundless.

There has been much criticism and social media activity against the PM’s idea, but little has been said or written about his references to the French and Iranian revolutions. He told his listeners and viewers about how during the French and Iranian revolutions thousands of people were beheaded so that several Tabdeeli could take place.

That the PTI does have fascist tendencies is no longer a secret. Other PTI ministers, such as Faisal Vawda and Murad Saeed, also recently touched on the hanging of five to ten thousand people so that PTI can come to power without hindrance to bring about the changes promised. Hatred against parliamentary democracy and democratic practices in holding elections is also a curse for them. The PM has more than once expressed his dislike of holding elections every five years or so. He gave the example of China and Singapore where one leader could lead affairs for decades.

In a series of columns here, we will discuss the concepts of change and revolution in history and see how the worthy ideals of our prime minister border on a parody of reality. We will see how some of the promises of change and revolution – so romanticized by our Prime Minister – turn into a sport of blood and how human lives are sacrificed on the altar of lofty ideals that are seldom achieved. Those who promise change or revolution through bloody upheaval try to establish cruel regimes that eventually devour their own children.

It is not a good idea to limit political debate to academics. Ordinary people must be able to understand that political ideas and ideologies reshape and change their own lives as they live in communities, countries and the world itself. Politics basically has to be about change, otherwise it will only be a power struggle. The desire and the promise to change must be at the heart of every fruitful politics. As emphasized by Karl Marx in ‘Theses on Feuerbach’ (1845) that, “Philosophers only interpret the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it ”.

The desire and promise to change also raises some challenging questions. To what extent is change desired? Will change result in decline or growth? Will it initiate some damage or progress? Will the majority of people reject or welcome it? In many cases, people just turn their faces towards the change and want to go back to a previous time. Then there is the question of defining decline and growth, or deterioration and progress. It seems that Imran Khan’s promised notions of change are actually turning into decline and decay rather than growth and progress.

The idea of ​​such a change is quite conservative and is incompatible with the concept of modern progress. It is sad and unfortunate that the rulers of a country are peddling such reactionary views in the 21st century. A good political activist, leader, or anyone else for that matter must realize that human history is marked by advances in science, leading to the attainment of higher levels of civilization. That’s where any change should lead us. Throughout history, promises of change have led to reforms or revolutions. Reform is a process of gradual and gradual modification without changing the nature of society fundamentally.

The literal meaning of revolution is a turnaround; Politically, it refers to deep, dramatic upheavals that in many cases turn violent, and lead to broad societal transformations. But before discussing the concept of revolution, perhaps it is better if we talk about the ‘reaction’ which seems more related to our concept of changing rulers. In politics, the reaction is more to a negative attitude to change; this is an important feature of conservative thought, as reflected in many political parties and groups in Pakistan, as well as around the world.

Such conservative and reactionary thinking represents a desire to preserve, which leads to a refusal to change itself, while outwardly claiming to be at the forefront of change. Here we must distinguish between economic growth and social progress. Some conservative and reactionary leaders and even dictators have succeeded in showing economic growth but in political and social terms they represent destruction and decline. Civil leaders like Modi and Trump or dictators like General Pinochet and Zia fall into this category. But the changes we promised in Pakistan didn’t even represent any economic growth; it is severe economic, political and social deterioration.

This type of ‘reaction’ equates to a request for continuity with the past such as the desire to impose a certain dress code on women, blame them for the violence they victimize, promote an unnatural spirituality, glorify past heroes who are mostly warriors. than intellectuals, thinkers or writers. Indirectly, this attempts to eradicate changes in the name of custom or tradition. Reaction can also involve trying to reclaim the past rather than a modern, progressive future. Such leaders try to turn back time and lead a backward-looking country that ends up becoming more regressive.

Such a position supports the changes often inspired by the idea of ​​a ‘Golden Age’. The more he talks about change, the more he calls it a means of preserving obsolete customs. This philosophy of change is actually a philosophy of conservatism. It tries to present a moderate face to reactionary politics which means maintaining the status quo, the current state of affairs. This desire to resist or avoid change is rooted in human psychology because in Michael Oakeshott’s words most people ‘prefer the familiar to the unknown’.

As we have seen in Pakistan, the rulers have tried to sell a sense of certainty and security at the expense of gross injustice in society. If you suggest a new policy – say in defense or foreign affairs – it appears to threaten decision-makers, who hide behind custom, honor, nationalism, pride, religion or tradition. That’s how long-established practices and customs shape traditional societies where adat plays a more important role than modern law subject to tradition. Traditional and moral authority are tools of social control.

In traditional society, people accept something as true because it always is; in other words: intimacy breeds legitimacy. Imran Khan’s remarks about obscenity as the cause of rape have satisfied the natural sense of justice for many without considering that long-standing patterns of behavior must be disrupted for change. If you stick to habits and practices, your behavior will stay as it always is. No primacy of tradition can justify lawlessness in an era of universally accepted values ​​of fundamentals and human rights.

Continued

The author holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK and works in Islamabad.

Email: [email protected]

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China and Brazil have the greenest central banks in the world, activists say | Instant News


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – China has the greenest central bank in the world, followed by Brazil, both of which have outperformed rich nations thanks to concrete steps such as lowering lending rates for pollution-fighting projects, an activist group said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A masked man walks past the headquarters of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, in Beijing, China, as the country was hit by the new coronavirus outbreak, February 3, 2020. REUTERS / Jason Lee

The UK-based campaign group, Positive Money, ranks the central banks and financial watchdogs of the G20 countries based on how much they are doing to fight climate change.

Only three of them made it through: China, Brazil and France.

The results may surprise some because China, which ranks highest in the report, is one of the world’s biggest polluters and Brazil has faced criticism for destroying parts of the Amazon rainforest.

But the study’s authors said financial policymakers in both countries acted earlier precisely because they faced a greater environmental threat.

“This makes environmental impacts and risks more immediate and relevant for central bankers and their supervisors, and could generate a greater impetus for greening their policymaking processes,” said Positive Money.

For example, the People’s Bank of China’s first green initiative dates back to 1995 and banks are now being asked to offer cheaper loans for green projects, the report said.

Brazil stands out for limiting financing for crop expansion in the Amazon and other vulnerable regions.

France, which derives much of its monetary policy and financial regulation from the European Union, beat its EU counterparts to third thanks to the extra points earned through its own climate pressure tests of major banks and insurance companies.

This comes on top of steps taken by the European Central Bank, which has started demanding that banks consider climate change when making loans and is considering adopting a green bias in bond purchases.

The report focuses primarily on official policies and does not reflect the effectiveness of their implementation.

NO CONSENSUS

The role of central banks in fighting climate change is the object of a growing global debate, but so far there has been no consensus on what to do next.

A report by 89 institutions published last week found that all policy options, such as bending central bank funding to benefit green issuers or punishing polluters, have drawbacks.

The main problem is that engaging in climate policy will raise questions about the two sacred cows of the past three decades: the independence of the central bank from politics and its singular focus on inflation, plus several countries with jobs.

Indeed, China’s central bank is not independent from its government whereas Brazil has just been granted autonomy.

Positive Money advocates dispelling such doubts as the costs of inaction will be even greater, and calls for a halt to funding for polluters.

“Targeting the most high-risk and environmentally hazardous assets – such as those associated with fossil fuel extraction – for exclusion from monetary policy operations and constraints or punitive factors in prudential policy will be an important first step,” he said in the report.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Edited by Marguerita Choy

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A ‘significant’ change was applied to claims for refugee status in New Zealand | Instant News


Plaintiffs have more time to prepare evidence, and interviews are now split over two days. Photos / Files

People applying for refugee status in New Zealand had longer to prepare their evidence and more days to complete interviews, in an effort to reduce stress and fatigue.

It is part of a series of changes introduced this month to make the process easier and clearer for plaintiffs to follow independent review in 2019.

The document is the result of the work of a cross-sectoral working group led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), including the Law Society’s Committee on Immigration and Refugee Law.

Committee spokesman Nilu Ariunjukne told the Herald it was important.

“We have heard of some plaintiffs who have to seek extensions, but written statements [they] having to prepare often takes a lot of time and effort, ”he said.

“This involves a lot of information about the claim and the plaintiff’s representatives have to rely on a translator.”

In addition to introducing a longer timeframe for preparing documents and evidence, interviews will now be scheduled for two and a half days instead of seven-hour interviews in one day.

There is also now an option for detained persons to opt out of the expedited determination process if they need more time for their claims.

The changes follow an independent 2019 review by Victoria Casey QC, commissioned by MBIE, examining processes and procedures for making refugee and protection status determinations.

Casey QC says the standard interview time is around seven hours a day. Topics covered include the applicant’s family relationships, education, employment history and religion.

Practitioners raised concerns about the mental health risks to the plaintiffs late in the process, and said some felt stressed and exhausted in the afternoon.

In the last financial year, 320 refugee and protection claims were made. Only 29 were approved out of 154 decisions – an approval rate of 18.8 percent.

Most applications were made from Indonesia, 89, followed by India, 39.

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