The Council and the European Parliament reach a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law

The negotiators of the Council and the European Parliament have reached an interim political agreement enshrining in legislation the EU climate neutrality target for 2050 and a collective target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions (emissions after removals) by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

“We are very satisfied with the interim agreement reached today. The European Climate Law is ‘the law of laws’ that establishes the EU’s legislative framework on climate for the next thirty years. The EU is firmly determined to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and today we can be proud to have set an ambitious climate target that can be supported by all. With this agreement we are sending a strong message to the world – just before the leaders’ climate summit on 22 April – and paving the way for the Commission to propose its’ Goal 55 ‘climate package in June, ” João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of the Environment and Climate Action

Regarding the goal for 2030, negotiators have agreed on the need to prioritize reducing emissions over removals. To ensure that sufficient measures are taken to reduce and avoid emissions by 2030, they have introduced a limit of 225 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent to the contribution of removals to the net target. They also agreed that the Union should aim to achieve a higher net carbon sink volume by 2030.

Other aspects of the interim agreement include the creation of a European scientific advisory council on climate change, composed of fifteen high-level scientific experts of different nationalities with a maximum of two members holding the nationality of the same Member State, with terms of four years. This independent council will be responsible, inter alia, for providing scientific advice and reporting on EU action, climate targets, indicative greenhouse gas emission budgets and consistency with European climate legislation. and with the international commitments of the EU in the framework of the Paris Agreement.

Negotiators have agreed that the Commission propose an intermediate climate goal by 2040, if applicable, no later than six months after the first global stocktaking carried out under the Paris Agreement. At the same time, it will present an indicative EU greenhouse gas emissions budget for the period 2030-2050, together with its underlying methodology. The budget is defined as the total indicative volume of net greenhouse gas emissions (expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent and with separate information on emissions and removals) that are expected to be generated in that period without jeopardizing the commitments made by the Union under the Paris Agreement.

Negotiators have also agreed that the Commission collaborates with sectors of the economy that choose to develop voluntary roadmaps indicative to achieve the Union’s climate neutrality target by 2050. The Commission would oversee the development of such roadmaps, facilitate dialogue at EU level and share best practices among stakeholders.

The interim agreement also sets an ambitious target for the EU to strive for negative emissions from 2050.

The provisional political agreement will be submitted to the Council and Parliament for approval before proceeding to the formal phases of the adoption procedure. The provisional agreement has been reached by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council and the representatives of the European Parliament, on the basis of the mandates of their respective institutions.

The next stage will be the text of the agreement.


UK Gives Provisional Green Light to Merger of O2 and Virgin, Key for Pallete | Companies

Relief for Telefónica in the UK. The British competition authority, the CMA, has given a provisional green light to the merger of O2, the British subsidiary of the Spanish company, with Virgin Media, owned by the American LIberty Global. The operation is valued at 35,800 million and will create a telecommunications giant in the country, which with 46 million lines, between mobile, fixed broadband and television, seeks to threaten the historical leadership of BT. For this reason, the authorization of competition is key.

“A thorough analysis of the evidence gathered during our investigation has shown that the agreement is unlikely to lead to an increase in prices or a reduction in the quality of mobile services, which means that customers should continue to benefit from strong competition.” , has indicated the CMA. The competition authority, in this case the European Commission, has already thwarted a key operation of Telefónica O2, its sale to Hutchison in the spring of 2016.

Like the former, the integration of O2 and Virgin is key to the plans of the Spanish company and its president, José María Álvarez Pallete, in reducing debt. With the operation, teleco foresees a debt reduction of between 6,300 and 6,652 million euros, and an initial payment of 6,500 million euros. At the end of 2020, Telefónica’s debt was around 35,000 million, although the teleco pointed out that, with the pending operations, the merger of O2 and Virgin, and the sales of Movistar Costa Rica and the Telxius towers to American Tower, indebtedness would be around 26,000 million.

The operation was announced in May last year, in the midst of the pandemic, and a few months later the United Kingdom asked Brussels for the operation’s file, in view of its characteristics and the end of the post-Brexit transition process.

The CMA has indicated that its analysis has not focused on possible duplications in the retail markets, without considering whether the operation may reduce competition in the wholesale market, that is, in the rental of services to third-party operators.

Virgin rents lines to operators such as Vodafone or Three to complete its own networks, while O2 rents its network to alternative mobile operators. The CMA feared a price hike in these areas, but has provisionally ruled out this possibility, indicating that customers should continue to benefit from strong competition.

The final approval could take place during the month of May, according to industry sources, who point out that it is highly unlikely that the CMA could change the direction of its decisions. From the outset, Telefónica’s management has demanded approval without conditions, recalling that, in 2015, the United Kingdom gave the green light to a very similar transaction, the purchase of Everything Everywhere by BT, also without setting conditions.

Both partners have worked with that conviction. In fact, already in the second half of 2020, they completed the recapitalization of the joint venture, with the raising of more than 6,100 million euros between credits and bonds. Last week, Telefónica and Liberty announced the management structure of O2 Virgin Media. Thus, Lutz Schüler, from Virgin will be the CEO of the new operator, while Patricia Cobián, financial director of O2, will occupy the same position in the joint venture.

In addition, Liberty Global has accelerated in recent weeks the segregation of Virgin Media’s business in Ireland, which was not part of the agreement with Telefónica.

Telefónica and Liberty have argued that the merger combines the mobile strength of O2, with an ambitious 5G deployment, and the weight of Virgin Media in fixed broadband. One of the promises of both partners is the acceleration of the deployments of the next generation infrastructures, both mobile 5G and fiber. In this case, the Spanish group has highlighted that it will contribute its experience in the deployment in markets such as Spain and Brazil.

Telefónica shares started the session with slight decreases, amid the doubts that surround the markets. In the first minutes of trading, they are left around 0.7%, up to 3.71 euros. Various analysts have agreed that the approval of the merger of O2 and Virgin Media should be a catalyst for the recovery of the matildes.


What a display! City beat West Bromwich 5-0 and is provisional leader of the Premier

Enero 26, 2021 – 05:34 p. m.
2021-01-26 By:

AFP / El País

Manchester City feasted (5-0) away from home against West Bromwich (19th), this Tuesday in matchday 20, a result that helps them to position themselves as provisional leader, waiting for what Manchester does United (2nd) on Wednesday.

The Citizens have a point of advantage over their great rival, who host bottom Sheffield United.

The German Ilkay Gündogan (6 and 30), the Portuguese Joao Cancelo (20), the Algerian Riyad Mahrez (45 + 2) and Raheem Sterling (57) signed the win in less than an hour.

Earlier, West Ham came fourth in the provisional standings thanks to a brace by Tomas Soucek in the 3-2 comeback against Crystal Palace (13th).

The Hammers, one of the revelation teams of this Premier, had to come back, after Wilfried Zaha put Crystal Palace ahead in the 3rd minute.

But the strong mentality that David Moyes has fostered at West Ham made him turn the scoreboard thanks to the double of Czech Soucek (9 and 25), one of the sensations of the competition.

In the second half, Craig Dawson made it 3-1 (65) and Michy Batshuayi approached Crystal Palace in the extension (90 + 7).

It was the sixth consecutive victory for West Ham, which is in last place leading to the next Champions League, with one point more than Liverpool, now fifth, who visit Tottenham on Thursday (6th).

At the same time Newcastle (16th) fell 2-1 to Leeds (12th) and added their 11th game without a win, a losing streak that put manager Steve Bruce in difficulties.

Leeds, who were also in a rut, achieved their first win of 2021, which serves to move away from relegation.

The Brazilian Rafinha (17) and Jack Harrison (61) scored the goals of the team led by Marcelo Bielsa, while for Newcastle the Paraguayan Miguel Almirón (57) had equaled 1-1.

Finally Arsenal (8th) won 3-1 on their visit to Southampton (11th) with goals from Nicola Pepe (8), Buyako Saka (39) and Alexandre Lacazette (72).


Leicester is a temporary guard

Played just two days after he also drew against Manchester United, manager Brendan Rodgers was forced to make seven changes to his team, restoring striker Jamie Vardy among them.

Being able to get ahead on the scoreboard, Leicester missed a missed honeycomb by the Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho at 18 ‘. The worst came when, despite how little Palace attacked, he opened the scoring with a goal from Ivorian Wilfried Zaha at 53 ‘. Just seven minutes from the end of the game, Harvey Barnes established the final 1-1.

In another Monday game, Chelsea could not overcome the equality (1-1) against Aston Villa, also tied on points (26) with their rival on duty, and stagnate with fewer games than their avant-garde rivals.

Today Brighton-Arsenal, Southhampton-West Ham, Albion-Leeds and Burnley-Shefield play, all at 3pm.