Donald Trump hits hard and threatens Beijing with $ 100 billion in taxes

"I asked the Ministry of Commerce to consider whether an additional $ 100 billion of tariffs would be adjusted under Article 301 (on intellectual property) and, in this case, to identify on which they could be taxed, "said the US president in a statement. Even if he has clearly decided to raise the pressure by one step by answering in Beijing, it is only threats.

The China s is declared Friday ready to "go to the end" and "whatever the price" in a commercial war with the United States, after new threats of the American president Donald Trump . "If the United States ignores the opposition of China and the international community and persists in their unilateral and protectionist measures, China is ready to go to the end, whatever the price," said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a statement. Trump threatened Thursday to impose $ 100 billion of new customs duties on Chinese imports, in response to retaliatory measures announced by Beijing.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer took care to note in a statement that, as the trade retaliation announced on April 3 by the United States that provoked the ire and the threat of retaliation from Beijing this week, they would only come into force after the end of a public consultation process. However, the prospect of a proper trade dispute is a concern for investors and stock prices have suffered in recent weeks.

"President Trump proposes an appropriate response to China's recent threat of After a detailed investigation, the USTR found irrefutable evidence that China's unreasonable actions were threatening the US economy, "he said. The USTR again denounces Chinese practices that, according to the Americans, are the looting of the intellectual property of American companies that want or do business in China.

Threats

"Economies Around the World – including the Chinese economy– would benefit from the application in China of policies that would truly reward hard work and innovation rather than pursue policies that distort the vital sector of high technology, "the USTR added. its press release. "Unfortunately, China has chosen to respond with threats of imposing unjustified taxes on billions of dollars worth of US exports, including our agricultural products, which would undoubtedly hurt even more workers, farmers and businesses. USTR,

In response to the Trump administration's Tuesday publication of a tentative list of products imported from China likely to be subject to new tariffs, Beijing responded with a A list of more strategic US products including soybean, automotive and aerospace for an amount equal to the first measures announced by Washington on Tuesday: $ 50 billion.

Beijing has taken careful to establish its list of future products to be taxed to hit as hard as possible regions that voted in favor of Donald Trump, according to experts. One way to exert maximum pressure on the billionaire, which ensures that it will seek a second mandate. China also made an official approach to the first round of tariffs by Trump on Thursday at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

In the Chinese text, published by the WTO, the Chinese delegation the organization is seeking "consultations" with Washington "on the taxes (and) measures" that Mr. Trump plans to apply "to certain products in various sectors including mechanical engineering, electronics, etc., from China". A "request for consultations" is the first step towards a formal complaint to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.

Donald Trump has launched a merciless struggle against the US trade deficit which he sees as a sign of the weakness of his predecessors who have allowed the rest of the world to profit from the United States.

International mobilization

China is particularly in the sights. The US trade deficit (US $ 375.2 billion in 2017) pushed Trump to ask Chinese officials to "immediately reduce this $ 100 billion deficit." The latest US figures released on Thursday show that since the beginning of the year, the deficit on goods trading has further increased by more than 20%. "We are not in a trade war with China, this war was lost many years ago by stupid or incompetent people, people representing the United States," said Mr. Trump.

Chinese, rhetoric is no less warlike. "Any attempt to put China on its knees by threat and intimidation is doomed to failure," a spokesman for Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang warned at a press briefing. The Chinese Foreign Minister, visiting Moscow on Thursday, called for international mobilization against Washington, while Trump opened several fronts in his quest for "a better deal."

"The International Community must oppose as a whole such unilateral actions and violations of the rules, defend as a whole the growth of the global economy and help those who think that everything is allowed them to find common sense, "said Wang Yi at of a press conference

(source: AFP)

Netherlands: Environmental protection NGO threatens to sue Shell

An environmental group threatened on Wednesday in the Netherlands to sue oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, headquartered in The Hague, which it accuses of not aligning its policy with objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate.

In a statement, the association "Friends of the Earth Netherlands" announces that it "will sue Shell if the oil company does not meet our demands to stop its destruction of the climate ", adding that the" current policy of the company was in contradiction with the Paris agreements ".

Royal Dutch Shell has two months to avoid an unprecedented trial by meeting the requirements of Milieudefensie, a Dutch association that is part of the network of Friends of the Earth, she said.

"If the lawsuit succeeds, it would significantly limit Shell's global oil and gas investments and force it to comply with the climate goals," warned Karin Nansen, the president of Friends of the International Land, quoted in the statement.

"Investments in oil and gas infrastructure are projected to last 30 to 40 years and, if the business does not stop now, we will continue to be chained to oil and gas after 2050, "said Donald Pols, director of Milieudefensie.

" Shell has long recognized climate change and strongly supports the Paris agreement, "responded the oil company in a statement sent to the AFP

"But we believe that climate change is a complex societal challenge that has nothing to do in court," she added.

In March, Amnesty International urged Nigeria to investigate 89 oil spills in the oil-rich Delta region, "one of the most polluted places in the world", accusing Shell and the Italian company ENI

Shell rejected these accusations, asserting that they were "false and do not take into account the complex environment in which the company operates."

The results in 2017 of the oil giant had a spectacular jump, net profit having almost tripled thanks to the rise in oil and gas prices to 10.5 billion euros.

The "critical" state of the soil threatens 50 million people

Soils are in critical condition. This is the alarming finding published in a extensive study on Monday, March 26, 2018, at the end of the 6th plenary session of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which had held from 17 to 24 March 2018 in Colombia, in Medellín. This report, which required 3 years of work, involved no less than 3,000 scientists, governments, indigenous peoples and local populations. Their observations, data and testimonies were analyzed by about a hundred researchers from 45 different countries, then grouped together in a report of a thousand pages. This is the first global soil condition study. And his report is alarming.

A situation that causes conflict

Soils lose quality when they are overexploited or poorly exploited. Cultivable land is becoming less and less numerous on the surface of the planet and this will lead, more and more, to the populations to move. " By 2050, this degradation combined with the climate change problems, which are closely linked, will force 50 to 700 million people to migrate ," the researchers said.

According to the study, the most optimistic projections (50 million people forced to move to find better soil quality), will be achieved even if everything is put in place to reduce our impact and minimize climate change. The report also points out that " declining soil productivity makes societies more vulnerable to social instability, especially in dry regions, where years of very low rainfall have been associated with rising violent conflict going on. up to 45% ". Soil degradation would be a source of war.

87% of wetlands lost

In some parts of the world, soils no longer fulfill their role of water filtration, carbon storage or fertilizers. Several reasons explain this situation, such as the decline of biodiversity and deforestation. A quarter of the lands today escape the phenomenon. This figure will fall to 10% in 2050. IPBES also pointed out that 4 / 5th of the world's population lives in areas threatened by lack of water. " We have transformed much of our forests, our grasslands, we have lost 87% of our wetlands (…) We have really changed the Earth's surface ," said Watson, president of the IPBES. " Tropical forests have historically been sparsely populated because it was difficult to get in. Today we build roads, we introduce agriculture ," he said. to AFP Robert Scholes, one of the co-authors of the report.

The effects of this critical state of the soil are already being felt since they constitute the first cause of disappearance of animal and plant species. Friday, March 23, 2018, the IPBES had also made a worrying verdict on the biodiversity of the planet, threatened, according to her, by the first mass extinction of species since that of dinosaurs and the first caused by humans

Vicious circle

Soil degradation is already affecting the well-being of more than 3.2 billion men and women. Indeed, the deterioration of the land is accompanied by the deterioration of food security and the health of human beings. Soil degradation also contributes to worsening climate change. For example, deforestation and reduced soil capacity to store carbon that causes climate change contribute to the greenhouse effect. A real vicious circle that also affects animals and plants. The loss of biodiversity is expected to be 38-46% by 2050. " Soil degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change are three facets of the same important challenge: the increasingly dangerous impact of our choices about our natural environment "said Robert Watson. It must be understood that the future of the land will define the future of humanity.

For researchers, intensive agriculture is an important factor in this deterioration of soils. The IPBES study highlights the over-consumption of developed countries and the increasing consumption of developing countries. All this while the world population is increasing more and more. But other factors also bear responsibility, such as logging, mining and oil extraction, or excessive and uncontrolled urbanization.

Still Possible Solutions

Researchers have also proposed measures to limit damage before it is too late. Thus, they emphasized that soil restoration would yield 10 times more benefits than their degradation currently costs. For regions like Africa or Asia, the cost of inaction to land degradation is at least 3 times the price of the action. The researchers also stressed the need to coordinate international, national and individual actions, which are now fragmented.

Scientists have proposed re-flooding dry swamps and stopping water pollution from mining, agriculture and industry at the source. In cities, the report recommends "green infrastructure" such as parks, reintroduction of native plant species, sewage treatment and river rehabilitation.

But it is agriculture that has a major role to play. It would be necessary to change several methods. So plowing the land can make it vulnerable to erosion and release the carbon it has captured, aggravating global warming. It has long been thought that this technique was used to aerate the soil, but today it is known that it destroys all the biodiversity contained in the earth. In terms of agriculture, subsidized fertilizer costs farmers very little. They are therefore pushed to use them. IPBES recommends replacing what they consider to be " perverse incentives, which promote soil degradation" through positive measures of sustainable management. Better labeling is also recommended by researchers. They want to leave consumers the choice to buy products with a more or less negative impact on the planet.

Finally, for IPBES, governments should take into account the protection of the planet in their decisions and coordinate them, stop fragmenting agriculture and environment on one side, economy, energy, infrastructure on the other. In itself, no longer isolate the theme of the environment. Experts also insist on a concerted vision at the international, national and individual levels, including indigenous and local communities.

Robert Watson says: " implementing actions to combat land degradation can transform the lives of millions of people around the world, but the longer we wait, the more it will become expensive and difficult to achieve "

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established in 2012 under the auspices of the United Nations. It now has 129 Member States. This platform aims to inform governments and the public on issues related to biodiversity changes. For this purpose, IPBES researchers carry out a regular synthesis of scientific knowledge.

Humankind threatens its own well-being by overexploiting the planet

Humankind threatens its own well-being by overexploiting the planet and causing a decline in wildlife in all parts of the world. It is already facing a major extinction of species, the first since the disappearance of dinosaurs, according to a vast scientific investigation revealed Friday, March 23, 2018. " We are sabotaging our own well-being to come ", told AFP Robert Watson, president of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), at the origin of this survey. If nothing is done to stop the trend, the fish resource of the Asia-Pacific region will be exhausted in 30 years and up to 90% of its corals seriously deteriorated before 2050. In Africa, it is more than half of the bird and mammal species that will be extinct by 2100, warns this study compiled for IPBES in four huge regional reports. " Biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing Nature's ability to contribute to the well-being of the population.This alarming trend threatens economies, livelihoods, the food security and the quality of life of the populations everywhere in the world ", underline this study containing from 600 to 900 pages

A " massive extinction "

During three years, more than 550 researchers have volunteered on these regional assessments, which synthesize data from around 10,000 scientific publications on the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe-Central Asia. The final result covers the entire Earth, except for the international waters of the oceans and Antarctica. The reports were scrutinized by more than 750 experts and policymakers from 115 of the 129 IPBES member countries meeting in camera in Medellin, Colombia, all week. They wrote summaries of about thirty pages each, negotiated word by word, to guide the leaders in the protection of biodiversity. " Too many people still think that the environment is a luxury, but this is not the case "lamented Mr. Watson. Professor Markus Fischer, for his part, states: " in Europe and Central Asia, the population of the region consumes more renewable natural resources than it produces ".

Before this sixth session , IPBES had already warned that the Earth is facing a "massive extinction" of species, the first since the disappearance of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago and the sixth in 500 million years. " With the increasing effects of climate change (…) this loss could reach 40% by 2050 in the Americas where it already amounts to 31% ", said the Intergovernmental Platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services. During the past century, two species of Vertebrates have disappeared each year on average on Earth. Another is about to disappear with the recent death of Sudan, the famous white rhinoceros of Kenya and the last male of its kind decimated by poaching and of which only two females remain.

First extinction due to Man

" If we continue so, yes, the sixth extinction, the first caused by humans, will continue ," warned Mr. Watson. The good news is (…) that it is not too late . "Because the IPBES reports also suggest ways to minimize the impact of human activities on the world. environment: creating more protected areas, restoring degraded areas and developing sustainable agriculture. " We need to take biodiversity into account in our way of managing agriculture, fisheries, forests, land ", explained the president of IPBES, aware that the world population will continue to grow, so its needs too." The world wastes about 40% of the food it produces (…) If we could reduce the waste of food, we will not necessarily have to double its production in the next 50 years ", also suggested the Platerforme.

Monday, March 26, 2018, the IPBES will launch a fifth report the first of its kind on the state of the planet's soils, degraded by pollution, deforestation, mining and unsustainable agricultural practices.

Humanity threatens its own well-being by overexploiting the planet

Humanity threatens its own well-being by overexploiting the planet and causing a decline in the fauna and flora in all regions of the world, facing a major extinction of species, the first since the disappearance of dinosaurs, according to a vast scientific investigation revealed Friday.

"We are sabotaging our own future well-being!", told AFP Robert Watson, Chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Services (1965B), Robert Watson, Chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), March 22, 2018 in Medellin, Colombia (AFP – JOAQUIN SARMIENTO) ” style=”float:right”/>

Robert Watson, Chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), March 22, 2018 in Medellin, Colombia (AFP – JOAQUIN SARMIENTO)

Si nothing is done to stop the trend, the fish resource of the Asia-Pacific region will be exhausted in 30 years and up to 90% of its corals seriously deteriorated by 2050. In Africa, it is more of half the species of birds and mammals that will be lost by 2100, warns this study compiled for IPBES in four huge regional reports.

"Biodiversity – the indispensable variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing Nature's ability to contribute to the well-being of the people. This alarming trend threatens economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere ", say the 600 to 900-page long reports.

For three years, more than 550 researchers volunteered on these regional assessments, which synthesize data from approximately 10,000 scientific publications on the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe-Central Asia, with the final result covering the entire Earth, except the international waters of the oceans and the Antarctic.

– The environment is not a luxury –

The reports were scrutinized by more than 750 experts and decision-makers from 115 of the 129 member countries IPBES gathered all week in camera in Medellin, Colombia, they wrote summaries of about thirty pages each, negotiated word by word, to guide leaders in the protection of biodiversity

"Too many people still think that the environment is a luxury. But this is not the case! ", Lamented Watson, linking" biodiversity and climate change that we must consider together. "

In Europe and Central Asia," the population of the region consumes more renewable natural resources than it produces, "said Swiss professor Markus Fischer.

Before this sixth session, the IPBES had already warned that the Earth is facing a" massive extinction ". species, the first since the disappearance of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago and the sixth in 500 million years.

"With the increasing effects of climate change (…) this loss could reach 40 by 2050 "in the Americas, where it is already 31%," she said Friday in the region.

In the past century, two species of vertebrates have disappeared each year on average the Earth, another is about to disappear with the recent death of Sudan, the famous white rhinoceros of Kenya and the last male of its species, decimated by poaching and of which only two females remain.

– First extinction due to humans –

"If we continue thus yes, the sixth extinction, the first caused by humans, will continue! "warned Watson, adding however that" the good news is (…) that it is not too much late. "

 The impact of global trade on biodiversity (AFP - John SAEKI, Laurence CHU)

The impact of global trade on biodiversity (AFP – John SAEKI, Laurence CHU)

IPBES reports also suggest ways to minimize the impact of human activities on the environment: creating more protected areas, restoring degraded areas and developing sustainable agriculture.

"We need to take biodiversity into account account in our way of managing agriculture, fishing, the forest, the ter re, "explained the president of IPBES, aware that the world population will continue to grow, so its needs too.

" The world wastes about 40% of the food it produces (…) Si we could reduce the waste of food, we will not necessarily have to double its production in the next 50 years, "he suggested.

On Monday, IPBES will launch a fifth report, the first of its kind on the state of the planet's soils, degraded by pollution, deforestation, mining and unsustainable farming practices

This summit meeting is held in the most bio-diverse country on the planet after Brazil, eight times bigger. In inaugurating on March 17, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stressed that "what happens to one happens to all."