What We’re Watching: Left wins Norway’s climate vote, everyone wants India’s jabs, junta denied Myanmar’s UN seat

What We’re Watching: Left wins Norway’s climate vote, everyone wants India’s jabs, junta denied Myanmar’s UN seat

Norway's climate election result: Most votes have now been counted from Norway's parliamentary election, and the left-leaning Labour party, headed by former FM Jonas Gahr Støre, has reaped 46 out of 168 seats up for grabs, ousting the conservative government led by PM Erna Solberg. Støre will now try to form a coalition government that's expected to include the agrarian Centre Party as well as the Socialist Party. The election was broadly seen as a referendum on climate change policy, given that oil accounts for more than 40 percent of Norway's exports and employs 7 percent of the entire workforce — though Norway itself has rolled out an ambitious green agenda at home. Støre says that he'll limit new oil explorations, but has ruled out getting rid of fossil fuels, saying that oil revenues could help fund the transition away from oil in the long run. Importantly, the Greens, the only political party that called for an end to all oil exploration, reaped only 4 percent of the vote, and is therefore unlikely to yield enough (or any) influence. Regardless, Støre may need to incorporate some smaller left-wing parties in his coalition that could force him to take a more forceful stance on climate change, like raising carbon taxes.


India pushed to vax the world: As the brutal COVID wave that devastated India in the spring now recedes, Delhi is coming under pressure to lift its vaccine export ban and deliver doses to low- and middle-income countries. The COVAX scheme was relying on India's Serum Institute to provide the bulk of its supply by administering 2 billion doses by the end of this year, but will now come up short — in part because when things got bad in India, the government stopped shipping pledged doses of the AstraZeneca shot saying that it needed to prioritize the domestic need. But now that India is recording one-tenth of the daily COVID cases it reported in early May, and at least 40 percent of its 1.4 billion people have gotten one jab, the World Health Organization and the US want India to resume exports. That may be a hard sell for the Biden administration, which enforced its own export ban earlier this year until it had enough supply for all Americans. Before the ban, India had sold or exported 66 million doses, but Biden is now pushing all countries to donate, not sell, any surplus supplies.

No UN seat for Myanmar's junta: The US and China cut a deal to block Myanmar's junta from taking the country's UN seat before the 76th UN General Assembly kicks off on Tuesday. But there's a catch: Myanmar's current UN envoy, appointed by the government the generals ousted in a coup last February, will have to tone down his fiery anti-junta rhetoric. The agreement is a slap in the face for Myanmar's military rulers, who were likely hoping China, one of their few friends, would push harder to give them the UN seat and the international legitimacy that comes with it. More broadly, it's a sign of what might be in store for the Taliban, who are also vying for international recognition and counting on China's support at international forums. However, the Taliban may have a slightly stronger claim because unlike Myanmar, the previous government has absconded and is not contesting their takeover. Still, having a Taliban representative on the Commission on the Status of Women, where Afghanistan won a seat in 2020, will surely be a non-starter for Western member states that have influence at the UN.

Ken Burns discusses Muhammad Ali's background and how the journey of boxing's greatest champion is just as relevant today—in sport, culture and beyond.

"He is speaking to us with a kind of force and clarity...that to me is just so enduring." - Ken Burns

No country in the Western Hemisphere is more closely associated with disaster and misery than the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Its latest upheaval centers on news that the country's top prosecutor wants Haiti's prime minister to answer questions about the murder of the president in July. Haiti is again locked in a power struggle among competing factions within its ruling elite.

Why is Haiti still so poor and disaster-prone?

More Show less

For UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the pandemic has made the world even more divided than it was before COVID. That's especially true on climate, in his view, because rich and poor countries simply don't trust each other anymore. If we want COP26 to succeed, Guterres says we must rebuild that trust — or face the consequences of inaction. "If you are on the verge of an abyss, you must be careful about your next step." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

"Pandemic" was the most used word of 2020. "Delta" looks set to inherit this year's title.

Vaccination rates are ticking up slowly. Governments aren't talking to each other enough. Parts of the world are back to normal, while others are still locked down.

Have we actually made any progress since the COVID-19 outbreak?


Unfinished Business: Is the World Really Building Back Better?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 11am ET/ 8am PT

Our speakers:

Special appearance by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

Visit gzeromedia.com/globalstage to watch on the day of the event.

Salvadorans protest Bukele, Bitcoin: Thousands of people took to the streets of El Salvador's capital on Wednesday, the 200th anniversary of the country's independence, to protest against President Nayib Bukele's increasingly authoritarian streak and his embrace of risky cryptocurrency. Last May, Bukele ended the Supreme Court's independence; perhaps unsurprisingly, the court then decided to lift the constitutional ban on presidential term limits — presumably so Bukele can run for reelection in 2024. Meanwhile, last week El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender, but the rollout was, to put it mildly, messy. The protesters resent Bukele's dictator vibes and warn that Bitcoin could spur inflation and financial instability. The tech-savvy president, for his part, insists that crypto will bring in more cash from remittances and foreign investment, and remains immensely popular among most Salvadorans. Still, Bukele's Bitcoin gamble could erode his support if the experiment fails.

More Show less

22.7 million: Trinidad-born US rapper Nicki Minaj has caused a political uproar after telling her 22.7 million Twitter followers that the COVID vaccine caused her Trinidadian cousin's friend to get swollen testicles and become impotent. The country's health minister called out Minaj, as did the White House.

More Show less

On Monday, Canada's liberal hunk of a PM heads into early elections that no one seems to have wanted... except for him.

When Justin Trudeau announced the move back on August 15, many people questioned the wisdom of holding a national election amid the economic and public health upheavals of the pandemic. "Read the room, Justin," was a common quip, with many saying the early vote was irresponsible from a public health perspective.

More Show less

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

Will the House Democrats actually be able to "tax the rich"?

The answer to that question is yes, the House Democrats this week rolled out a proposal in order to partially finance their plans to spend $3.5 trillion. The tax proposal is notable for three things. One, while it does raise taxes on corporate America, including the corporate rate (that's 26.5% from 21% today), it goes a little bit softer on them than a proposal from Senate Democrats or from the Biden administration who wanted to be much more aggressive in going after the overseas earnings of US multinational corporations.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

UN Chief: Still time to avert climate “abyss”

GZERO World Clips

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal