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European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen delivers a speech at the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

BENOIT DOPPAGNE/Belga/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: EU's green subsidies, Vietnam’s leader canned, Bolivia's psychic cat hunter

To push back against IRA, EU plans its own green subsidies

It’s no secret the European Union has been unhappy with what it sees as unfair trade practices coming from Washington and Beijing. US President Joe Biden’s passage of the $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act, for example, offers consumer tax credits as well as incentives to US producers of green tech products that Europeans fear will put the continent’s manufacturers at an unfair advantage — perhaps even pushing them to relocate stateside. No wonder, then, that speculation has been rife over the possibility of the EU introducing its own subsidies in response. On Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told a Davos audience that the 27-member bloc will propose a Net-Zero Industry Act to mobilize EU support for green industries. Details will be hammered out at a summit in early February, but with the US investment so high, the EU’s commitment is expected to be big. The bigger questions are whether all these subsidies will be sustainable in the long term and if they will translate into lower prices that encourage EU consumers to buy more electric vehicles made in the bloc.

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The world’s largest plastic waste pyramid is revealed in Egypt ahead of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Zero Co/The Hidden Sea/Cover Ima via Reuters Connect

What to expect from COP27: “It’s pretty grim”

Last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where central governments and the private sector worked together in unforeseen ways, gave us reason to hope for climate progress. Nearly 200 countries gathered to agree on details of the Paris Agreement with an eye toward limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C. This year was meant to be all about implementation.

But in the last 12 months, the world’s been rocked by war in Europe, soaring inflation, and deepening political and economic divides between rich and poor countries. As world leaders descend this weekend on the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh for the COP27 climate summit, climate warriors are wondering what can be done at this pivotal moment to save the planet.

We spoke with our very own climate expert, Eurasia Group’s Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, for a reality check on the goals and possibilities for this year’s COP27. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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UN Environment Chief: “The Truth Is We Are Failing.” | Global Stage | GZERO Media

UN Environment Chief: “The truth is we are failing”

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations' Environment Programme, issued a dire warning about climate change in a new interview with GZERO Media. In 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the world as standing “at the edge of an abyss,” and that next steps on climate were urgent and critical.

“I think if you ask people on Pacific islands whose lands have been lost, they've already fallen off,” Andersen told GZERO. “Or even if you ask people in California whose houses got burnt in a wildfire, they have fallen off.”

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The Road To Becoming a Sustainable Energy Superpower | Sec. Granholm: Full Interview | GZERO World

The road to becoming a sustainable energy superpower

A new legislation might save the US from a climate catastrophe. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has revived a sputtering Biden administration and represents the single largest climate spending package in US history. Ian Bremmer speaks to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on GZERO World to talk about how the new law could help America (and the world) respond to climate change, by giving American families and businesses carrots to use more clean energy rather than sticks from guzzling fossil fuels.

The IRA will do things like boost the domestic energy manufacturing sector or help the US show up at the upcoming COP27 climate summit in Egypt as a global leader on clean energy. Granholm believes that Russia's war in Ukraine has aggravated the energy crisis. Making the transition to clean energy even more urgent because the West no longer wants to rely on Russia to keep the lights on.

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António Guterres: “We Are Destroying Our Planet and We Are Not Paying Attention” | GZERO World

"We are destroying our planet and we are not paying attention," says UN chief António Guterres

A year ago, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told Ian Bremmer on GZERO World that the world was on the edge of an abyss in dealing with climate change.

Since then, we haven't fallen off, but unfortunately he says climate has become a "second-rate issue."

That doesn't mean, of course, that the problem has gone away. Russia may be at war with Ukraine, but we're at war with the planet, and the planet is striking back — as we've seen with the recent floods in Pakistan.

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Ian Explains: How Biden's Climate Bill Moves The US Towards Clean Energy | GZERO World

How Biden's climate bill moves the US towards clean energy

Despite its name, the recently passed US Inflation Reduction Act won't do much to tame rising prices. But it will do a lot to fight climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power generation and transport, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

Interestingly, the bill offers more carrots than sticks to encourage American families and businesses to use more clean energy, Ian Bremmer tells GZERO World. Also, it responded to the Supreme Court's ruling against the Environmental Protection Agency by reaffirming the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

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Jennifer Granholm: US “Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is” on Clean Energy | GZERO World

Jennifer Granholm: On clean energy, US is "putting our money where our mouth is”

This November, the US wants to present itself at the COP27 Climate Summit in Egypt as a global leader on renewables with the $370 billion worth of clean energy investment included in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.

Something like this has never been done before, and the figure could be double once you add private sector dollars, says Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

America, she tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, finally has "some moral authority to say we are putting our money where our mouth is on this."

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Supercharging US Clean Energy & Achieving Net Zero 2050 Globally | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Supercharging US clean energy & achieving net zero 2050 globally

Despite its name, the US Inflation Reduction Act won't do much to tame rising prices. But it will do a lot to fight climate change by giving American families and businesses carrots to use more clean energy rather than sticks from guzzling fossil fuels.

What's in the bill, and how will it help accomplish the Biden administration's climate goals?

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who explains how Biden's climate bill will do things like bring back energy manufacturing jobs or help the US show up at the upcoming COP27 climate summit in Egypt as a global leader on clean energy. She also touches on Europe's current energy woes and hopes for an opening on climate cooperation with China.

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