teleSURtv & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch – 2017-07-07 00:13:50
Activists Continue ‘Welcome to Hell’
G20 Protests in Hamburg
(July 6, 2017) — World leaders are set to arrive in Germany’s second-largest city for Friday and Saturday’s G20 summit.
“Welcome to Hell.” That’s the greeting for US President Donald Trump and other world leaders on Thursday from anti-capitalist protesters in Hamburg who aim to disrupt the July 7-8 G20 summit.
Tens of thousands are expected to gather at the fish market in the borough of St Pauli on Thursday around the same time as Trump arrives in Hamburg. They will then march north to the heavily secured summit venue.
Besides Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies will also attend the two-day summit.
Protest organizer Andreas Blechschmidt told AFP: “It’s a combative message … but it’s also meant to symbolize that G20 policies worldwide are responsible for hellish conditions like hunger, war and the climate disaster.”
Several small demonstrations took place relatively peacefully in Hamburg this week. However, on Tuesday night, riot police used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse crowds at an unauthorized protest camp, leaving five people injured.
In regards to Thursday’s protest, city police Chief Ralf Martin Meyer told ZDF television: “We are skeptical as to whether this evening and tonight will remain peaceful.”
Up to 100,000 demonstrators are expected during the two-day Group of 20 meeting, some 8,000 of whom are deemed by security forces to be ready to commit violence, according to the police.
Hamburg is boosting its police force with reinforcements from around the country for the summit and will have 20,000 officers on duty to patrol the city’s streets, skies and waterways.
“It’s ridiculous that police say some of us are violent when starting tomorrow the leaders of the world’s largest weapons-exporting and importing nations will be arriving in our city,” Stefan Hubert, a 32-year-old graphic designer who came to the protest on Wednesday with three friends, told Reuters.
Previous G20 summits in recent years have usually been held in remote locations, but Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to hold the summit in the center of Germany’s second-largest city partly to show that “healthy democracies” could tolerate protests.
“The choice of the host city is unfortunate,” said Neil Dwane, a strategist for Allianz Global Investors. “Protesters will find a journey to Hamburg easy to make, unlike previous, more remote, venues.”
“The city will require a degree of protective measures, which may get more media attention than the meeting’s contents. Such a result would reinforce an increasingly negative impression of the summit,” he added.
Volvo Announces ‘Historic End’ to
Combustion Engine, All Cars Going Electric
Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch
(July 5, 2017) Volvo Cars announced Wednesday that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking a “historic end” to the internal combustion engine.
This makes Volvo the first traditional carmaker to fully embrace electrification.
“This is a clear commitment towards reducing our carbon footprint as well as contributing to better air quality in our cities,” HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, president and chief executive, said. He then stated goals of selling 1 million electrified cars by 2025.
The company will still produce older Volvos with pure combustion engines after 2019, but its latest move signals its eventual phasing out conventional gas guzzlers. As the New York Times noted, other major car manufacturers have introduced EVs or hybrids to their line but none have entirely ditched making new cars powered solely by gasoline or diesel fuel.
“This is about the customer,” Samuelsson added. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”
The automaker is based in Sweden but is owned by China’s Geely Automobile Holdings, which produces electric vehicles for China, a major market for battery-powered cars.
Volvo said it will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021. The rest of its fleet will comprise of plug-in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.
France to Ban Sale of Cars
Powered by Gasoline and Diesel
Lorraine Chow /EcoWatch
(July 6, 2017) — France plans to end the sale of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel by 2040, environment minister Nicolas Hulot said. Hulot made the announcement Thursday in Paris as he launched the country’s new Climate Plan to accelerate the transition to clean energy and to meet its targets under the Paris climate agreement.
To ease the transition, Hulot said the French government will offer tax incentives to replace fossil-fuel burning cars with clean alternatives.
“The government will offer each French person a bonus to replace their diesel car dating before 1997 or petrol from before 2001 by a new or second-hand vehicle,” he said. “The target is a tough one,” he noted, “but France wants to become the No. 1 green economy.”
Hulot is a former TV host of nature documentaries and a popular environmental activist. His appointment as ecology minister was seen as a major “coup” by French President Emmanuel Macron’s new administration.
The new environment minister cited the example of a “European maker” that decided to embrace the electrification of vehicles.
That was a clear reference to Volvo, which announced Wednesday that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking a “historic end” to the internal combustion engine. Volvo is the first mainstream carmaker to commit to phasing out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels.
France is not alone in outlawing gas-guzzlers. Norway is banning the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars in 2025. Germany plans to ban the internal combustion engine by 2030. India also intends to be a “100 percent electric vehicle nation” by 2030.
As Bloomberg noted, France intends to end oil and gas exploration in French territory, eliminate coal-fired power plants by 2022 and encourage homeowners to produce their own energy. It also aims to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050.
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