The charts on the tracker page compile data on energy-consumption trends in seventy-nine countries going back to 1990. Each chart shows how much energy a given country consumes from nine different sources.
Together, the charts reveal significant trends in global energy usage. They show, for example, that high-carbon energy sources—especially oil—are the world’s dominant source of power. On average, 83 percent of tracker countries’ energy comes from high-carbon sources, and 37 percent specifically from oil.
Some tracker countries rely highly on low-carbon energy. Twenty-five percent of Canada’s energy and 29 percent of Brazil’s, for example, comes from hydroelectric—compared with 9 percent for tracker countries on average. France derives over a third of its energy from nuclear. Other countries remain heavy users of higher-carbon sources. China derives 56 percent of its power from coal—although that figure is down from 70 percent a decade ago.
Oman shipyard Asyad Dry Dock is expanding its capacity by 20% with a new floating dock as its current facilities are fully utilized.
by Marcus Hand
The shipyard, formerly Oman Drydock Company, is now part of the Asyad Group, the logistics arm of the Oman government. Management of the yard has been combined with shipowner Oman Shipping Company, and overseen by Dr. Irbahim Al Nadhairi, Chief Executive Officer, Shipping & Drydock.
“We have integrated the shipping and drydocking as the shipping service. The companies are still two legal separate entities but then we share the same executive team to be more efficient,” Dr. Ibrahim told Seatrade Maritime News in an interview at Posidonia 2022.
On the shipping side of the business the group owns a fleet of 65 ships with plans to increase the fleet to over 100 vessels over the next five years. He explains that with such a size of fleet the shipowner needed a quality shipyard so it made sense to work together.
Asyad maintains most, if not all its fleet at the shipyard in Oman, accounting for around 15% of its business. While part of the same group Dr. Ibrahim says it does not send its ships to the yard “by default,” and they have to make sure it is competitive as it needs to be for their third-party customers.
Business has been growing for the shipyard and it experienced a spike in the first half of this year as Chinese capacity has been taken out of the market by COVID restrictions pushing work to yards in other parts of the world. “So, we could see there was a big hike in the number of ships, not only for Asyad Dry Dock, but the entire region as well,” Dr. Ibrahim said.
“The next 12 months I believe the ship repair industry will still continue to flourish on our side.”
The shipyard’s two 600,000 DWTdrydocks are already operating at full capacity and this year sees it adding a floating dock with the capacity to handle vessels up to Panamax size.
“We’ve recently acquired a floating dock which is of Panamax size and we reckon that about 40% of the business in ship repair is within that Panamax size. The floating dock gives us around 20% extra capacity,” he said. It will increase the number of ships the yard can repair from 200 to around 240.
The floating dock is expected to arrive in Oman in the next six weeks, and following some dredging works be operational by the start of Q4 this year.
Greek owners are major clients of the shipyard and account for around 40% of business, and Dr. Ibrahim said they added two more Greek clients last week. “It seems we have a good reputation in the Greek market and between now and end of Q3 we have 27 ships in orderbook from the Greek market.”
Being able to deliver services efficiently and on time is of critical importance in the financially booming container sector.
“Today when you talk about bringing a container ship into a shipyard time really is money,” Dr. Ibrahim said. If a container ship owner says a ship will be in the yard for 15 days the owner will expect work to be completed in 12 days.
‘Further Action Is Needed’ As MEPC 78 Gets Underway
IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim hailed the 78th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee as an opportunity to be brave and lead by example on decarbonization.
At the last MEPC meeting, a revision process was agreed to strengthen the IMO’s initial GHG strategy which was adopted in 2018. A strengthened version of that initial strategy is due in mid-2023 at MEPC 80.
“Whilst progress has been made on many of the measures set out in the Initial Strategy, I am sure that we can all agree that further action is needed. Your discussions this week will chart the way forward for the decarbonization of international shipping,” said Lim.
“It is therefore of utmost importance that IMO continues to deliver concrete progress in transitioning international shipping from fossil fuels to low and zero-carbon alternatives.”
Member states at MEPC 78 will also consider adoption of guidelines to support short-term measures on GHG emissions, including correction factors for carbon intensity, EEXI calculation methodology and revised SEEMP.
Calculations on the GHG impact of fuels will be discussed, as ISWG-GHG 11 reports progress on developing lifecycle GHG assessment guidelines. Well-to-wake and tank-to-wake calculations are in scope, with the aim of giving fuel users a full picture of the impact of the production and use of the fuels they choose.
“Your constructive discussions on these topics will enhance the Committee’s evidence-based decision making when further considering proposals for mid-term GHG reduction measures,” Lim told Member States.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to all Member States, and observer delegations, and especially the Chair of the Working Group on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, Mr. Oftedal of Norway, for the extraordinary effort and dedication in ensuring the successful outcome of both intersessional meetings.”
Houston Begins $1.1Bn Ship Channel Widening
The Port of Houston kicked off its the long-awaited billion dollar dredging scheme, the Houston Ship Channel Widening and Improvement Project 11 last week.
by Michele Labrut
The $1.1bn expansion of the Houston Ship Channel, which has been in planning for more than a decade is finally underway.
After more than a decade of planning, Project 11 will allow the ship channel to accommodate an additional 1,400 vessels per year and could generate up to $134bn more annually in economic impact once completed. The channel currently accommodates about 8,200 vessels and 215,000 barges each year, hauling more than 247m tons of cargo.
EU Transport Commissioner Focuses on ‘Solidarity Lanes’ and Sanctions
As the global food crisis deepens and millions of tons of Ukraine’s grain remain blocked in the Black Sea, EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Vălean has declared that all transport modes will be considered in setting up new Solidarity Lanes that bypass the Black Sea.
Speaking to journalists immediately prior to yesterday’s opening ceremony at Posidonia, she said that trucks, tracks, trains, transshipment and storage facilities will all contribute to new supply chains to ensure that exports from one of the world’s largest grain exporters can resume, at least in part, as soon as possible.
She said that the setting up of Solidarity Lanes would have important commercial implications for shipping and could even lead to changes in the sector’s business models.
However, other sources pointed to the scale of the sanctions package that has severely impacted the Russian economy by disrupting key revenue generating sectors. Energy exports are the most obvious example and although Russian oil is still easily sold in India and China, for example, it is at deep discounts to global prices.
The tempo and rhythm of world events and world history are not captured in the linear and bland books one reads in schools and colleges where the sense of the stormy forward turbulence of the world is not communicated. Here’s an example that does communicate this “crazy dynamics”:
“The world supply of gold was diminishing, as the effects of the gold rushes in California and Australia in the 1850s and 1860s passed. This coincided with the decision in the 1870s of many of the leading countries to follow Britain’s example to use gold rather than silver as the basis of their currency — Germany in 1871, France in 1876 for example — so that the demand for gold rose just as the supply was temporarily declining. This in turn led to some doubt about the use of a gold standard and to much discussion about ‘bi-metallism’ and about the possibility of restoring silver to its place as the metal on which the world’s currency should be based, though this movement had more success in the United States than in Europe, where gold has now established itself firmly. By the 1890s however the discovery of new gold deposits in South Africa, Western Australia and Canada put an end to these discussions and uncertainties, as far as currency was concerned, for some fifty years.”
In other words, the de facto emergence of Britain/London as the world commercial and policy center and the relation of this emergence to empire and international tensions and rivalries, means it is very problematical for any country to steer a course other than staying in tandem with British moods and ideologies, such as free trade. Any country by itself would find it difficult to have a more independent policy. (Friedrich List of Germany, who died in 1846, wrestles with these difficulties somewhat.) The attempts to find “autonomy and autarky” in the interwar years (Germany, Japan, Italy) led to worse nightmares. The world seems like a “no exit” arena of ideologies and rivalries.
The “crazy dynamics” and the semi-anarchy of the system, which continues to this day and is even worse, means that policy-making is always seen through a “dark windshield.”
I know this group encompasses a very diverse crowd — we have everyone from House staffers to Senate staffers here. So, just in case anyone doesn’t know, I want to begin by giving you a very brief explanation of what, exactly, a regional Federal Reserve Bank is. Our nation’s central bank, after all, is quite unusual — unique, even — in its design.
While the rest of us don’t always vote, we do always represent our Districts and play a part in the discussion. If you were at a normal FOMC meeting, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell a voting member until the end of the meeting when it’s time to raise hands. Everybody contributes.
The United States has a unique set of needs. It’s easy to forget that we’re an outlier because we’re such a massive country: Only Russia and Canada are bigger geographically, only China and India have larger populations, and no one country has a bigger economy, at least for now. And that economy is vast, spreading across sectors and natural resources in a way that is not typical of other nations.
Filling me with less optimism is the persistent constraints the economy is operating under.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how fragile many of our supply chains are. We’re now experiencing shortages of crucial parts like computer chips, which has hobbled not only the production of cars and trucks, but also comparatively smaller durable goods like home appliances. My recent experience attempting to purchase a printer — there were essentially none at my local electronics store — testifies to that. And good luck trying to find a new washing machine or dishwasher.
These supply chain constraints are rippling through the entire economy. Manufacturers in our region have reported having to curtail production because of difficulties securing raw materials. We’re also seeing low inventory of everything from shoes to backpacks to even chicken wings, which is a particularly troubling development as the NFL season is picking up. Unfortunately, there are indications that these constraints could persist for a couple of more years.
There’s another input lacking in supply as well, further constraining the economy: labor. It isn’t true, as was widely reported, that the economy only created 194,000 jobs in September. In reality, the U.S. economy has created many millions of jobs in recent months — we just can’t fill them. Indeed, job openings are at record highs, hitting nearly 10.5 million at the end of August. Simultaneously, more people are quitting their jobs, and the rate at which open positions are being filled is continuing to slow.
It seems that a combination of factors — trouble accessing childcare or eldercare, lingering fears about the virus, the rise in equities and home values spurring people to retire, and perhaps a general revaluation of life choices — is persuading a lot of Americans to stay on the sidelines even as the economy has reopened. And notably, the elimination of extra federal unemployment benefits has not — at least not yet — appeared to nudge people back into the workforce. I do expect that will change eventually and especially as other forbearance programs run out.
So, where does all of this leave us? For 2021, I would expect GDP growth to come in around 5.5 percent, which is a downward revision from before Delta took hold. Growth will then moderate to about 3.5 percent in 2022, and 2.5 percent in 2023. Inflation, meanwhile, should come in around 4 percent for 2021, though I do see upside risk here. After that, our modal forecast — that is, the average of all of our forecasts — calls for inflation of a bit over 2 percent for 2022 and right at 2 percent in 2023.
In terms of monetary policy, I am in the camp that believes it will soon be time to begin slowly and methodically — frankly, boringly — taper our $120 billion in monthly purchases of Treasury bills and mortgage-backed securities. This comes down to the efficacy of these purchases as a tool.
They were necessary to keep markets functioning during the acute phase of the crisis. But to the extent that we are still dealing with a labor force issue, the problem lies on the supply side, not with demand. You can’t go into a restaurant or drive down a commercial strip without noticing a sea of “Help Wanted” signs. Asset purchases aren’t doing much — or anything — to ameliorate that.
After we taper our asset purchases, we can begin to think about raising the federal funds rate. But I wouldn’t expect any hikes to interest rates until late next year or early 2023, unless the inflation picture changes dramatically.
Given the strong headwinds facing the economy, it is a testament to its underlying strength that growth continues at a relatively robust pace. That is a tribute, as always, to the ingenuity and tenacity of our people, especially in the face of huge challenges.
Thank you very much again for having me. And now let’s move on to questions.
There’s a deep reason that guarantees the insipid feel of most historical courses and textbooks used in schools at all levels. The problem is that the underlying savagery of history is never really faced but is always fudged over. The books and courses in schools of all levels tend to be “tangential” to any reality.
One of the underlying “motors” of all history is the land question in its two aspects:
Parallel processes took place everywhere including China, Russia, etc.
The truth of these historo-crimes at the root of all history is then avoided “forever.”
This makes all discussions of who got what and why, where and when escapist at best.
2. The Private Land Question
Countries like those in Central America were characterized by the fact that when the European empires such as Spain were removed from “ownership,” handfuls of elite families took al the best farmland and parlayed that into political power. Those the top coffee growers have dominated Central America for centuries and the landless and indigenous are in a permanent emergency. Questioning this distribution leads to mass murders such as under Guatemala’s Ríos Montt (died 2018) in the 1980s.
These two “land questions”—the national and the private—are at the core of all world history and this means that failure to put these truths on the table of educational analysis, leads to “let’s pretend” “denial detours.”
There is a fundamental historical dishonesty that governs the educational process and since “the truth will make you free,” it follows that “the untruth will make you unfree” (i.e., “captive mind” syndrome everywhere).
The U.S. and the EU owe more than half the cost of repairing future damage says the report, authored by Civil Society Review, an independent group that produces figures on what a “fair share” among countries of the global effort to tackle climate change should look like.
“The poorer countries are bearing the overwhelming majority of the human and social costs of climate change. Consider only one tragic incident—the Cyclones Idai and Kenneth—which caused more than $3 billion in economic damages in Mozambique alone, roughly 20% of its GDP, with lasting implications, not to mention the loss of lives and livelihoods” argues the report. “Given ongoing and deepening climate impacts, to ensure justice and fairness, COP25 must as an urgent matter operationalize loss and damage financing via a facility designed to receive and disburse resources at scale to developing countries.”
An April 2019 report from ActionAid revealed the insurance and other market based mechanisms fail to meet human rights criteria for responding to loss and damage associated with climate change. The impact of extreme natural disasters is equivalent to an annual global USD$520 billion loss, and forces approximately 26 million people into poverty each year.
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, recently warned that the climate crisis is the greatest ever threat to human rights. It threatens the rights to life, health, housing and a clean and safe environment. The UN Human Rights Council has recognized that climate change “poses an immediate and far reaching threat to people and communities around the world and has implications for the full enjoyment of human rights.” In the Paris Agreement, parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) acknowledged that they should—when taking action to address climate change—respect, promote and consider their respective obligations with regard to human rights. This includes the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, the empowerment of women and intergenerational equity. Tackling loss and damage will require a human-rights centered approach that promotes justice and equity.
Across and within countries, the highest per capita carbon emissions are attributable to the wealthiest people, this because individual emissions generally parallel disparities of income and wealth. While the world’s richest 10% cause 50% of emissions, they also claim 52% of the world’s wealth. The world’s poorest 50% contribute approximately 10% of global emissions and receive about 8% of global income. Wealth increases adaptive capacity. All this means that those most responsible for climate change are relatively insulated from its impacts.
In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions, including the inundation of entire low-lying countries, the disappearance of specific ecosystems or habitat destruction, destructive floods, the inundation of low-lying farmland, and widespread water stress.
Nevertheless, the same companies and countries have pursued high reliance on GHG emissions, often at the expense of communities where fossil fuels are found (where oil spills, pollution, land grabs, and displacement is widespread) and certainly at the expense of public understanding, even as climate change harms and risks increased. Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell together are behind more than 10% of the world’s carbon emissions since 1966. They originated in the Global North and its governments continue to provide them with financial subsidies and tax breaks.
Responsibility for, and capacity to act on, mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage varies tremendously across nations and among classes. It must also be recognized that the Nationally Determined Contributions (climate action plans or NDCs) that have thus far been proposed by the world’s nations are not even close to being sufficient, putting us on track for approximately 4°C of warming. They are also altogether out of proportion to national capacity and responsibility, with the developing countries generally proposing to do their fair shares, and developed countries proposed far too little.
Unfortunately, as Kevin Anderson (Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the University of Manchester and a former Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research) has said: “a 4°C future is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation,’ is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable.”
The report assess countries’ NDCs against the demands of a 1.5°C pathway using two ‘fair share’ benchmarks, as in the previous reports of the Civil Society Equity Review coalition. These ‘fair share’ benchmarks are grounded in the principle-based claims that countries should act in accordance with their responsibility for causing the climate problem and their capacity to help solve it. These principles are both well-established within the climate negotiations and built into both the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
To be consistent with the UNFCCC’s equity principles—the wealthier countries must urgently and dramatically deepen their own emissions reduction efforts, contribute to mitigation, adaptation and addressing loss and damage initiatives in developing countries; and support additional sustainable actions outside their own borders that enable climate-compatible sustainable development in developing countries.
For example, consider the European Union, whose fair share of the global emission reduction effort in 2030 is roughly about 22% of the global total, or about 8 Gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2eq). Since its total emissions are less than 5 GtCO2eq, the EU would have to reduce its emissions by approximately 160% per cent below 1990 levels by 2030 if it were to meet its fair share entirely through domestic reductions. It is not physically possible to reduce emissions by more than 100% domestically. So, the only way in which the EU can meet its fair share is by funding mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage efforts in developing countries.
Today’s mitigation commitments are insufficient to prevent unmanageable climate change, and—coming on top of historic emissions—they are setting in motion devastating changes to our climate and natural environment. These impacts are already prevalent, even with our current global average surface temperature rise of about 1°C. Impacts include droughts, firestorms, shifting seasons, sea-level rise, salt-water intrusion, glacial retreat, the spread of vector borne diseases, and devastation from cyclones and other extreme weather events. Some of these impacts can be minimized through adaptation measures designed to increase resilience to inevitable impacts.
These measures include, for example, renewing mangroves to prevent erosion and reduce flooding caused by storms, regulating new construction so that buildings can withstand tomorrow’s severe weather, using scarce water resources efficiently, building flood defenses, and setting aside land corridors to help species migrate. It is also crucial with such solutions that forest dwelling and indigenous peoples be given enforceable land rights, for not only are such rights matters of basic justice, they are also pragmatic recognitions of the fact that indigenous peoples have successfully protected key ecosystems.
Tackling underlying social injustices and inequalities—including through technological and financial transfers, as well as though capacity building—would also contribute to increasing resilience. Other climate impacts, however, are unavoidable, unmanageable or unpredictable, leading to a huge degree of loss and damage. Experts estimate the financial damage also will reach at least USD$300-700 billion by 2030, but the loss of locally sustained livelihoods, relationships and connections to ancestral lands are incalculable.
Failure to reduce GHG emissions now—through energy efficiency, waste reduction, renewable energy generation, reduced consumption, sustainable agriculture and transport—will only deepen impacts in the future. Avoidable impacts require urgent adaptation measures. At the same time, unavoidable and unmanageable change impacts—such as loss of homes, livelihoods, crops, heat and water stress, displacement, and infrastructure damage—need adequate responses through well-resourced disaster response plans and social protection policies.
For loss and damage financing, developed countries have a considerable responsibility and capacity to pay for harms that are already occurring. Of course, many harms will be irreparable in financial terms. However, where monetary contributions can help restore the livelihoods or homes of individuals exposed to climate change impacts, they must be paid. Just as the EU’s fair share of the global mitigation effort is approximately 22% in 2030, it could be held accountable for that same share of the financial support for such incidents of loss and damage in that year.
The table below provides an illustrative quantification of this simple application of fair shares to loss and damage estimates, and how they change if we compute the contribution to global climate change from the start of the industrial revolution in 1850 or from 1950.
Table 1: Countries’ Share of Global Responsibility and Capacity in 2019, the time of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, as illustrative application of a fair share approach to Loss and Damage funding requirements.
The advantage of setting out responsibility and capacity to act in such numerical terms is to drive equitable and robust action today. Responsible and capable countries must—of course—ensure that those most able to pay towards loss and damage repairs are called upon to do so through domestic legislation that ensures correlated progressive responsibility. However, it should also motivate mitigation action to ensure that harms are not deepened in the future.
In the Equity analysis used here, capacity—a nation’s financial ability to contribute to solving the climate problem—can be captured by a quantitative benchmark defined in a more or less progressive way, making the definition of national capacity dependent on national income distribution. This means a country’s capacity is calculated in a manner that can explicitly account for the income of the wealthy more strongly than that of the poor, and can exclude the incomes of the poorest altogether. Similarly, responsibility—a nation’s contribution to the planetary GHG burden—can be based on cumulative GHG emissions since a range of historical start years, and can consider the emissions arising from luxury consumption more strongly than emissions from the fulfillment of basic needs, and can altogether exclude the survival emissions of the poorest. Of course, the ‘right’ level of progressivity, like the ‘right’ start year, are matters for deliberation and debate.1
The report acknowledges “the difficulties in estimating financial loss and damage and the limited data we currently have,” but it recommends nevertheless “a minimal goal of providing at least USD$300 billion per year by 2030 of financing for loss and damage through the UNFCCC’s Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM).” Given that this corresponds to a conservative estimate of damage costs, the report further recommends “the formalization of a global obligation to revise this figure upward as observed and forecast damages increase.”
The new finance facility should provide “public climate financing and new and innovative sources of financing, in addition to budget contributions from rich countries, that can truly generate additional resources (such as air and maritime levies, Climate Damages Tax on oil, gas and coal extraction, a Financial Transaction Tax) at a progressive scale to reach at least USD$300 billion by 2030.” This means aiming for at least USD$150 billion by 2025 and ratcheting up commitments on an annual basis. Ambition targets should be revised based on the level of quantified and quantifiable harms experienced.
Further, developing countries who face climate emergencies should benefit from immediate debt relief–in the form of an interest-free moratorium on debt payments. This would open up resources currently earmarked for debt repayments to immediate emergency relief and reconstruction.
Finally, a financial architecture needs to be set up that ensures funding reaches the marginalized communities in developing countries, and that such communities have decision making say over reconstruction plans. Funds should reach communities in an efficient and effective manner, taking into account existing institutions as appropriate.
John Hay, at the time the American ambassador to Britain, writing to his friend Theodore Roosevelt in Cuba, referred to the war against Spain as “a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave.” He hoped that the war’s aftermath would be concluded “with that fine good nature, which is, after all, the distinguishing trait of the American character.” More than a century later, we are still asking ourselves just how splendid that little war and its consequences really were.
Ironically, it turns out that any reader of Joseph Conrad’s (died in 1924) famous novel Nostromo from 1904 would have encountered the “manifesto” of the American Empire, very clearly enunciated by one of the characters in the novel:
(from ICRIER Newsletter | November 2019 | Vol. III, Issue 11)
The November 2019 issue of the Newsletter provides a quick recap of ICRIER’s research and policy engagements during the month of October 2019.
Three research reports were released by ICRIER last month in the areas of competition, trade and investment and climate change (See below).
ICRIER also organized consultation workshops, dissemination and outreach events during the month. ICRIER researchers published several articles in leading newspapers and other media platforms on a variety of current issues such as growth, agriculture, trade, FTAs, RCEP, single use plastics and the Economics Nobel. We sincerely hope that you will take a few moments to glance through these updates and engage further with anything that interests you. We hope you enjoy the newsletter’s new format. As always, we welcome your valuable feedback.
Competition Issues in India’s Mobile Handset Industry
(Rajat Kathuria, Mansi Kedia and Kaushambi Bagchi)
Welcome remarks were delivered by Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director & CE, ICRIER and the Introductory Session was Chaired by Dr. Jayant Dasgupta, IAS (Retd.) Former Ambassador of India to the WTO. Dr. Anirudh Shingal, Sr. Fellow, ICRIER presented the key findings of the report, which was followed by a Panel discussion Chaired by Dr. Arpita Mukherjee, Professor, ICRIER.