Namibia pitches green hydrogen to Europe at Davos
29 May 2022 | 5:26 am
With the European Union looking to ditch Russian oil and gas, the African country says it could not only help bridge the gap but also bolster the bloc's green push thanks to abundant sunshine and high wind speeds.
Russian gas continues to flow into Europe after President Vladimir Putin threatened to cut off supplies unless they are paid in roubles, a demand rejected by European leaders as a breach of contract. However, Putin's decree does include a mechanism under which foreign buyers would set up special accounts at Gazprombank, which would convert foreign currency payments into roubles on their behalf. Plus, workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York could be heading for a landmark victory for organised labour following a vote on whether to unionise.
In 2016, Matthieu Aikins was a journalist living in the Afghan capital Kabul. When the war finally pushed his Afghan friend Omar to flee his homeland and leave everything he knew in a bid to reach Europe, Aikins decided to join him. "The Naked Don’t Fear the Water" is the book that came out of the friends' journey, one that is both extraordinary but also painfully commonplace for the millions of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees who have made similar gut-wrenching decisions to seek out a better life. Aikins joined us for Perspective to tell us more.
Elon Musk had often lamented the red tape that held up Tesla's German factory. But Robert Hermann, CEO of the Germany Trade and Invest government agency, says no country in Europe could have built it faster.
Concern over global food supplies has been rising since Russia invaded Ukraine. Known as "the breadbasket of Europe", Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and other cereals. But with fierce fighting threatening crops and harvests, authorities say wheat production this year could drop by 30 percent. We take a closer look. Plus, the US Federal Reserve has signalled that it will start selling off its massive haul of bonds to the tune of $95 billion a month, rattling markets.
Indian mystic and visionary Sadhguru is making a 100-day motorbike journey from Europe to India to raise awareness of soil erosion. He told FRANCE 24's Delano D'Souza why he feels his mission is important for humankind. With more than half of agricultural soils are already degraded, Sadhguru warned that "there is no alternative to soil". He also described his own personal journey, saying that he does not see himself as a guru.
The EU is coming to the end of a major experiment in public debate: the Conference on the Future of Europe, an eight-month-long event in which the EU invited its 450 million citizens to share their thoughts on how the bloc might reorient itself to face new challenges. What – if anything – has the conference achieved? Will true change come about? We discuss this with three guests who took part in the Conference itself.
When French voters cast their ballots in the April 24 presidential run-off, the result will be watched well beyond our borders. For now, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are serving up opposing visions of France's place on the world stage. He is for ratcheting up concerted EU sanctions against Vladimir Putin, while she is against any oil or gas embargo.
The past few days have delivered more reports of atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine: women and girls raped, civilians locked up and shot, plus reports of chemical weapons being deployed in Mariupol. Calls continue for more to be done to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the EU, leaders have condemned the Kremlin, decrying the attacks as "war crimes".
Spain’s Alejandro Sanchez, Germany’s Marie-Thérèse Kaiser and Italy’s Fabrizio Busnengo all have two things in common: They are under 35 and are positioning their respective far-right political parties at the gates of power. Each of them shrugs off the dark side of their countries’ history, campaigning with gusto for parties that are less than a decade old: Vox in Spain, Germany's Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and Brothers of Italy. Our correspondents Sarah Morris, Céline Schmitt, Armelle Exposito, Anne Mailliet, Louise Malnoy and Lorenza Pensa report on the new faces of the far right in Europe.
Russian energy giant Gazprom said it would halt gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, raising concerns that Moscow could use energy supplies as blackmail over the conflict in Ukraine.
The rest of Europe may not be at war, but is it ready for the sacrifices of a wartime economy? The Kremlin shutting the gas tap on Bulgaria and Poland may be but a prelude to a brutally swift transition away from Russian gas and oil. Deals will be dropped, money will be lost.
Europe is at a crossroads. Amid the war in Ukraine, can the continent wean itself off Russian gas? An energy transition is underway, but the alternatives could lock countries into dirty fossil fuels for years to come. We take a closer look in this edition of Down to Earth.
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