Commission presents security strategy to tackle Europe’s evolving threat landscape
Better cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure, doubling down on tackling terrorism and organized crime, and preparing the bloc for emerging threats in “real and digital” environments, dominated the European Commission’s new EU Security Union strategy, presented on Friday (24 July).
Why is building renovation 'Cinderella' of EU Green Deal?
It's unfortunate that it took a pandemic to see something so obvious. Energy efficiency is the Cinderella of climate solutions: virtuous and unassuming, but too often overlooked.
The EU calls it the Renovation Wave, one of the central pillars of the European Green Deal.
The ambition is to massively accelerate the rate of improvements to private and public sector buildings: going faster and deeper than ever before, in an effort to support the economic recovery from Covid-19.
This is because energy efficiency is a jobs machine, making it one of the most attractive forms of economic stimulus.
According to recent estimates from McKinsey, €1 invested today will add over €2 of value for a large European economy. Governments can double their money.
Source: EU Observer
Cuts to EU Just Transition Fund put pressure on fossil fuel phase-out
The transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources is a key goal of the European Green Deal, but EU leaders have cut some funds in the recent recovery fund.
Telecommunications giant Vodafone is teaming up with Defra (the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Forest Research to study how forests can be used to tackle the climate crisis. Sensors - specially designed to withstand harsh climates - will be attached to trees as part of a three-month trial, with data continually sent back to scientists for analysis. The sensors will use Vodafone’s Internet of Things (IoT) technology. This is where computing devices are embedded in other objects and able to transfer data to other interrelated pieces of tech, without needing any human interaction. Researchers will look at key metrics like temperature, humidity, tree growth, and soil moisture on an ongoing basis throughout the study, without having to visit the site. Both Defra and Forest Research plan to use the results to inform policy makers and the wider public about the effects tree growth can have on the environment.
In particular, the scientists hope to uncover more on how the trees' ability to store carbon can be harnessed to mitigate climate change.
UK gene editing amendment withdrawn, but government commits to consultation
An amendment tabled in the new UK agriculture bill, designed to allow access to new gene-editing technology, has been withdrawn but the government has pledged to conduct a public consultation on the issue, amid indications that it could eventually offer its support for the technology.
EU looks to improve trade & investment relations with China
At a high-level virtual meeting Tuesday, the EU called on China to engage in trade reform and to remove barriers impeding access to the Chinese market for EU exporters and European investors.
Source: EU Business
“Cybersecurity vendor Area 1 Security Inc. tracked more than 12,000 local officials and determined that over 1,600 used free or nonstandard email software that often lacks the configuration and management protection found with large cloud-service providers. More than half of the officials used email systems with limited protection from phishing attacks, Area 1 said. The findings underscore problems with the country’s diverse, locally administered election system that attracted the attention of state-sponsored hackers four years ago.”
Mexico's New Copyright Law Undermines Mexico's National Sovereignty, Continuing Generations of Unfair "Fair Trade Deals" Between the USA and Latin America.
Earlier this month, Mexico's Congress hastily imported most of the US copyright system into Mexican law, in a dangerous and ill-considered act. But neither this action nor its consequences occurred in a vacuum: rather, it was a consequence of Donald Trump's US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the successor to NAFTA.
U.S. trade groups urge China to increase purchases of U.S. goods, services.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and over 40 trade associations on Monday urged top American and Chinese officials to redouble efforts to implement a Phase 1 trade agreement signed by the world’s two largest economies in January despite pandemic-related strains.
How Companies Can Strengthen Supplier Collaboration.
The lack of resiliency in supply chains is one of the most pervasive vulnerabilities in business operations uncovered by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is now widespread recognition of how intricate and geographically broad supplier networks really are, which has driven resiliency to the top of the C-Suite agenda.
How local US governments are getting renewable energy.
Cities are a core driver of climate change, accounting for more than 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Precisely because they are such big GHG emitters, cities can be at the forefront in tackling climate change by leading the switch to clean energy. Over the last five years, more U.S. cities have started setting and acting upon their renewable energy goals. This will be critical if the United States is to achieve its Paris Agreement commitments, given the current lack of federal action.
Source: Green Biz
The demise of Privacy Shield may be the end of US-Europe data transfers: Increasing restrictions on data worldwide are prompting companies to rethink how they do business. Source: POLITICO
EU's new Security Union Strategy is a good first step: The new EU Security Union Strategy is a broad, cross-sectoral document that seeks to overcome old dichotomies between online and offline security, digital and physical security, and internal and external security. Source: EUobserver
EU, Switzerland to link emissions trading platforms from September: A planned link-up of the EU and Swiss carbon markets will be operational from September, the European Commission said, giving companies a broader pool of potential partners with which to trade emissions permits. Source: Euractiv
5G: A risky business: 5G offers enormous societal and economic benefits, but this is not without serious security risks, explains Kris Peeters. Source: The Parliament
CAP tracker: Mapping the latest movements on EU farming policy: The EU’s common agricultural policy, or ‘CAP’, aims to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity. Find here the latest developments and a roadmap. Source. Euractiv
The EU can and must cut emissions by more than 55% by 2030: The European Commission has proposed to strengthen its 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction target to 50% or 55% on 1990 levels in the next ten years. But this step does not meet the minimum level of ambition that climate science, and the EU’s own climate-neutrality goal, say is needed, writes Mirjam Wolfrum. Source: Euractiv
EU consults on review of renewable energy and energy efficiency directives: To deliver on the ambition of the European Green Deal, the EU took the first steps on August 4 in the review process of the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive, by inviting citizens and stakeholders to comment on two Roadmaps. Source: New Europe
Halloumi cheese puts EU’s Canada trade deal to the test: Cypriot vote against Canada accord will test whether EU countries’ parliaments can torpedo big deals. Source: POLITICO
The three 'Elephants in the Room' in EU-India relations: The EU-India virtual summit took place last month with three 'elephants in the room'. Source: EUobserver
EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force: EU exports to Vietnam will be taxed less as of 1 August, when the EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force, a deal that will ultimately scrap duties on 99 pre cent of all goods traded between the two sides. Source: EUbusiness
U.S. steps up campaign to purge 'untrusted' Chinese apps. The Trump administration said on Wednesday it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat “significant threats.” Source: Reuters
China only fulfils 5% of Sino-U.S. energy trade deal in first half of 2020. China bought only 5% of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products from the United States in the first half of 2020, falling well short of its trade deal commitments at a time when relations between the two top economies are already sour. Source: Reuters
Biden says Trump's China trade deal is 'failing' badly. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday ratcheted up the rhetoric on President Donald Trump’s handling of the country’s increasingly tense relationship with China, saying the Republican’s much-vaunted trade deal was “failing.” Source: Reuters
U.S. trade deficit shrinks in June. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in June as exports rebounded following several months of decreases, suggesting an improvement in global demand after being depressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit fell to $50.7 billion from $54.8 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap would narrow to $50.1 billion in June. Source: Reuters
Biggest U.S. Coal Carbon Capture Project Halted After Oil Price Crash. Low oil prices have made the only large-scale commercial project for carbon capture in the United States uneconomical, E&E News reported on Tuesday.
The Petra Nova project for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from a coal-fired power plant southwest of Houston is currently in a “mothball status,” because it needs higher oil prices than the current $40 a barrel to make the carbon capture operations financially viable, according to E&E News. Source: OilPrice
Global Factories Increase Production but Overseas Demand Remains Soft. Export orders were soft across most of the countries, and activity contracted in Japan and South Korea. Source: Wall Street Journal
Spike in home workers a new opportunity for cyber criminals: Aon, CyberCube. COVID-19 and the resultant move to widespread homeworking has created new vulnerabilities for criminals to exploit, according to cyber analytics expert CyberCube and re/insurance broker Aon. According to the report, homeworking has exposed new access points for cyber criminals to gain entry to corporate systems including domestic PCs, laptops and Wi-Fi routers. Source: Reinsurance News
Navigating Conflicts Between Workplace Reopening Guidelines and Building Sustainability Standards. As U.S. state governments reopen their communities for business, increased energy consumption and waste generation resulting from practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 seem inevitable. As office employees reenter the workplace, a key question for commercial property owners, operators, and tenants is: to what extent will reopening procedures impact not only individual health but also the sustainability of their buildings and offices? This article reflects briefly on the ever-evolving concept of sustainability, how the concept is adapting to address recommended COVID-19 prevention practices in office buildings, and where we’re headed as we return to the office. Source: ICLG
It's Time To Re-Engineer Health Care Cybersecurity. Health care data is valuable, which is one of the reasons why it's so heavily targeted by hackers and cybercriminals. In the midst of a global pandemic, the threat is even greater. As recently as May 5, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint alert to warn that "advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic" to specifically target "healthcare bodies, pharmaceutical companies, academia, medical research organizations, and local governments," presumably in order to collect bulk personal information, intellectual property and intelligence that aligns with national priorities. Source: Forbes