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EU hikes ambitious renewable energy targets



European Union lawmakers achieved a significant milestone by giving their final approval to legally binding targets aimed at accelerating the expansion of renewable energy sources within this decade.

This move is a pivotal component of Europe’s overarching strategy to combat climate change and transition away from fossil fuels.

The newly approved legislation marks a substantial increase in the EU’s renewable energy objectives, mandating that 42.5% of the EU’s energy must be sourced from renewables by 2030. This replaces the previous target of 32% for the same year.

Negotiations on this legislation faced considerable challenges during discussions among EU member states’ governments. Ultimately, it secured support when France advocated for allowances for nuclear energy, which, while low-carbon, does not fall under the renewable energy category.

Resounding victory

The European Parliament’s vote resulted in a resounding victory for the law, with 470 lawmakers voting in favor, 120 against, and 40 abstentions. The final bill will now require approval from EU member countries before it becomes enforceable.

Markus Pieper, the EU Parliament’s chief negotiator for the law, emphasized that this legislation would expedite the approval of new renewable projects and stimulate innovation in new technologies. He expressed anticipation for pilot projects involving floating solar cells, wind kites, run-of-river power plants, and other groundbreaking ventures.

While EU countries and lawmakers had initially reached a renewable energy law agreement in March, it encountered delays due to certain nations seeking greater acknowledgment of nuclear power. An informal endorsement from EU countries came in June following Brussels’ commitment to considering exemptions for specific ammonia plants, allowing them to rely on nuclear-based fuels.

Nuclear sources

France contends that Europe’s green energy transition necessitates the production of hydrogen from both renewable and nuclear sources, and EU legislation should accommodate both options.

These newly ratified targets, which include precise objectives for boosting renewable energy adoption in transportation and industry, are designed to stimulate investments in the massive expansion of wind and solar energy.

Brussels envisions achieving this through increased local manufacturing, as the majority of components for European solar installations currently originate from China.

On Monday, Europe’s solar industry alerted the European Commission to plummeting module prices, driven in part by intense competition among Chinese suppliers, which could force European manufacturers into insolvency.

The Commission acknowledged these challenges and expressed its engagement with renewable energy manufacturers to explore potential solutions. Concurrently, the EU is in negotiations regarding a law intended to bolster local manufacturing of green technologies.

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China’s property market crisis worsens



The Chinese property market is currently facing a crisis, with major developers like Evergrande and Country Garden experiencing significant financial challenges.

This alarming situation has garnered global attention due to its potential impact on the Chinese and international economies.

Evergrande, one of China’s largest property developers, has been struggling with a massive debt burden, exceeding $300 billion. This has raised concerns about the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations, causing a ripple effect across the property market. Country Garden, another prominent player in the industry, is also facing mounting debt pressures, further exacerbating the crisis.

The property market’s decline can be attributed to several factors, including government policies aimed at curbing excessive borrowing, a slowing economy, and a general shift towards more sustainable and affordable housing options.

These challenges have created uncertainty in the market, leading to a decrease in property sales and declining developer revenues.

The implications of this crisis extend beyond the property sector, with potential repercussions for the broader Chinese economy. #ticker today #featured

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What life’s like for Ukrainian citizens as war rages



U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will highlight the NATO alliance’s ongoing support for Ukraine in its war with Russia in Europe.

The war between Israel and Hamas and heightened tensions in the wider Middle East have raised concerns that Washington cannot sustain the level of military and diplomatic support it has given Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 full-scale invasion.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien also told reporters that Blinken, who departed on Monday for Brussels, will highlight the ongoing commitment of the United States and its allies as he takes part in the first foreign minister-level meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Brussels.

“This is part of the process of finding a place in the alliance, which we’ve always said is Ukraine’s future,” he said. #featured

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Black Friday shoppers spent a record $9.8 billion in U.S. online sales



Retailers are seeing big numbers as the 2023 holiday shopping season kicks off.

Black Friday kicked off the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.

So far, shoppers spent a record $9.8 billion in U.S. online sales.

That’s up 7.5% from last year.

Qendresa Ibrahimi, the Influencer Marketing Director with EvenSkyn joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #InAmericaToday #featured #BlackFriday #CyberMonday #retail #sales #retailssales #holiday #shopping

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