For those who have worried about the illiberal, populist drift in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, events of the past few days have brought some rare good news. Recent political tremors have shaken several governments in the European region that led the populist wave now gaining ground across much of the world.
Despite the series of setbacks, there’s still a chance—in every instance—that when the current convulsions stop, the populist right could remain in place. But it does seem that the region is now in play.
What’s remarkable is that these developments have occurred almost simultaneously. It could be a coincidence, but perhaps it’s an early indicator, the leading edge of a coming shift.
Source: In Central Europe, Populism Took a Hit This Week
Decades after Pacific Islanders first raised the alarm, the rest of the world is finally catching up: The climate crisis is here, and it’s accelerating.
Why it matters: Pacific Islanders, whose nations face an existential threat from climate change, were a major force behind the Paris Agreement. Heading into November’s UN climate summit, they are calling for greater urgency in meeting the goals of the accord, and more direct action from world leaders — especially President Biden.
Source: Pacific Islanders urge world to listen ahead of UN climate summit – Axios
The Biden administration plans to identify and lease federal waters along seven coastal areas to offshore wind power developers over the next few years, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Wednesday.
Why it matters: The new plan constitutes an aggressive push by the federal government to reach its goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind-generating capacity in U.S. waters by 2030.
Source: Biden administration outlines “ambitious” plans for coastal wind farms – Axios
Crucial U.N. climate talks next month likely will end short of the global target for cutting coal, gas and oil emissions, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says, after nearly a year of climate diplomacy that helped win deeper cuts from allies but has so far failed to move some of the world’s biggest polluters to act fast enough.
Source: The AP Interview: Kerry says climate talks may miss target
An energy crisis around the world is hitting households and manufacturers that were already struggling to recover from the global pandemic.
Why it matters: This is a perfect storm of crises. It features supply shortages, especially from China; inflation; slowing growth; labor shortages; Russia’s continued geopolitical muscle-flexing and, of course, the fear that the world will burn to a crisp.
Driving the news: A combination of weather-related issues (many of which are related to climate change), unexpected demand and planned outages has sent natural gas and coal prices through the roof.
Source: Energy crisis grips the world ahead of key climate summit – Axios