Global Newsstand: Fossil fuel corporations should not lobby during climate conferences, and more

A roundup of global commentary for the Dec. 24, 2018 weekly magazine.

Kacper Pempel/Reuters
People attend a Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice demonstration before the final session of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, on Dec. 14, 2018.

EUObserver / Brussels

Fossil fuel corporations should not lobby during climate conferences

“In heavily coal-reliant Poland, the ongoing round of international climate talks is marred by the sponsorship of coal and gas companies,” write Pascoe Sabido and Frieda Kieninger. “Tackling climate change is not compatible with giving the fossil fuel industry a place at the negotiating table.... At the national, [European Union] and [United Nations] levels, polluting corporations are lobbying for false solutions, such as promoting gas as a transition fuel, pushing global carbon markets, ‘clean’ coal, biofuels or carbon capture and storage technology.... With the window of opportunity for effective climate action narrowing ever faster, the EU must not ignore the deafening calls to kick polluters out of climate policy.”

The Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney, Australia

Brexit may be the final straw on the back of the world market

“Theresa May’s decision to defer a vote on her Brexit deal has brought the UK and European Union closer to the most disruptive and destructive outcome; the ‘no deal’ option that would see the UK exit the European Union next March without any transition period or agreed relationships...,” writes Stephen Bartholomeusz. “The UK, European and even the US financial markets shivered when the news broke.... The potential for the trade conflicts and tensions to worsen ... and the uncertainty over the nature of Brexit and its fallout suggest that the first half of 2019 may be a particularly volatile and challenging period for financial markets and, potentially, real economies.”

Al Jazeera / Doha, Qatar

International community must not ignore human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia

“I first met Eman Al Nafjan in October 2006, just before she took up blogging and activism...,” writes Omaima Al Najjar. “Eman’s blog quickly gained popularity and international prominence, becoming one of the most-read blogs on Saudi Arabia worldwide.... The arrests of Eman and a dozen other Saudi women’s rights activists in May this year and the smear campaign against them created a climate of fear among Saudis.... The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in early October was meant to send a chilling message.... We will continue campaigning for the release of Eman despite US President Donald Trump clearly giving Saudi Arabia a pass on human rights violations. The international community must not do the same; it should take urgent action....”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

Huawei CFO’s arrest draws Canada into US-China dispute

“The case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou – arrested in Vancouver on charges that her company contravened U.S. sanctions on Iran – is attracting global attention, and it has thrust Ottawa into a high-stakes policy challenge between China and the United States...,” writes Paul Evans. “Behind the arrest is a U.S.-China conflict that is not just a trade war, but a technology war in which Canada is caught in the middle.... The Trump administration’s brinkmanship in its economic negotiations with China rests upon Washington’s souring mood on China.... [T]he Meng case is going to test our courage and wits on the precipice of a Sino-American confrontation that is rattling us all.”

The Namibian / Windhoek, Namibia

The architecture of the internet needs purposeful construction

“The internet is a powerful enabler of human rights,” writes Nashilongo Gervasius. “This is because as a medium of communication, the freedoms fostered by the internet to express ideas, connect and associate with others, and exercise our human creativity and innovation are unprecedented.... For the more than four billion people who have online access, the internet directly impacts their ability to access news and information.... Internet freedom issues are neither solely rights issues nor solely internet issues; they need to be addressed by all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, and engineers in the  technical community.... [W]e all have a collective responsibility for its future.”

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