A European Union (of sorts)

From Perry Anderson’s third and final essay on Europe for the LRB:

Those from the EU actually living and working outside their country of birth in the Union form a number smaller still, less than 4% of its total population in 2015, of whom the large majority were manual labourers of one kind or another. As late as 2008, they made up less than 2% of the population of Western Europe.

For those wondering, 4% of the EU’s population in 2015 was about 20 million people. Less than a third the population of France, twice the population of Greece.

Climate goals and climate rules

The FT reports that scientists are warning the EU that its new rules for what constitutes sustainable finance endanger its pledge to reduce emission to net zero by 2050.

Sustainable finance requires some way of distinguishing between unsustainable and sustainable investments. While there are lots of private ratings agencies, the EU wants to create its own taxonomy for “what counts as green investment.”

On the surface this is wonderful and a great step for humanity. As is often the case, the devil is in the details. There is an enormous amount of money riding on whether an investment counts as “green,” and there is a corresponding pressure being applied to how the standards are written.

These arcane rules, negotiated in anonymous conference rooms in Brussels, will dictate the flow of trillions of dollars. We need to watch closely.

I highly recommend following Daniela Gabor’s work on this topic.