Sat, Dec 22, 2018 - Page 7 News List

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Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Progress slips on emissions

The government yesterday admitted that it is off track to meet the 2030 emissions targets agreed under the Paris Agreement. The Department of the Environment and Energy said that the country is on course to meet the more modest 2020 targets, but would struggle to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent by the end of the following decade. The nation was last month the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and is one of the world’s top coal producers. The conservative government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been tepid in its drive to tackle climate change and has prioritized the economy over reduction targets. He has claimed that investments in renewable energy sources mean that Australia would meet the targets “at a canter.” Although emissions forecasts have improved slightly, the government admitted that it is still a long way from the desired trajectory. The government has estimated that it would need to cut the equivalent of 695 to 762 megatonnes of carbon dioxide between 2021 and 2030. At the moment, it is forecast to miss that target by almost 20 percent. “The Morrison government has no policies to address Australia’s climate pollution problem,” the Australian Conservation Foundation said in a statement.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Coal mine blast toll up to 13

The death toll from an explosion at a coal mine has risen to 13, the Czech News Agency reported yesterday, citing company sources. State-run firm OKD said that a methane blast more than 800m underground on Thursday devastated areas of the CSM hard coal mine near the town of Karvina. An OKD spokesman was not immediately available for comment. The previously reported death toll was five and eight unaccounted for. The company said that most of the victims and injured were Polish miners provided by the firm ALPEX.

ISRAEL

Boycott fundraising halted

A US firm that makes fundraising software said that it has suspended the account of a Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel following a complaint by a pro-Israel group that the campaign has links to militant groups. Donorbox early yesterday confirmed that the BDS campaign’s account was temporarily blocked while it investigates the allegations. The decision came in response to a complaint from Shurat HaDin, an Israeli advocacy group that files lawsuits around the world against the nation’s foes, submitted in coordination with the Ministry of Strategic Affairs. San Francisco-based Donorbox said its decision does not mean that it considers BDS to be a “nefarious” organization, adding that it has merely suspended the account while it conducts a review. The BDS movement called the Shurat HaDin’s move “McCarthyite.”

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