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G-7 Energy, Environment Leaders Haggle Over Climate Strategy

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energy

SAPPORO, Japan — The Group of Seven wealthy nations’ energy and environment ministers convened Saturday in northern Japan, attempting to combine the world’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels with the urgency of reducing carbon emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

The sessions in Sapporo, northern Japan, are intended to forge a consensus on the best path ahead of the G-7 summit in Hiroshima in May.

“We face the challenge of promoting reforms to address climate change… while also achieving energy security,” said Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura as the conference began.

On the sidelines of the conference, US Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry stated that the G-7 was “powerfully positioned to be able to lead” in the battle to combat global warming. “We appreciate Japan’s leadership and stewardship of the G-7 this year.”

However, disagreements remain on how and when to reduce carbon emissions, particularly since the conflict in Ukraine has heightened concerns about energy security, complicating the endeavor.

The discussions in Sapporo will also address biodiversity loss and other global issues. However, climate change is at the top of the agenda for the closed-door sessions. At last year’s G-7 summit in Germany, the countries agreed to work towards a fully or mostly decarbonized electricity supply by 2035.

US officials have expressed support for Japan’s approach centered on clean coal, hydrogen, and nuclear energy to bridge the transition to renewable energy. Others advocate for a more rapid transition to renewable energy.

The UN Secretary-General recently called for stopping new fossil fuel exploration and for rich countries to abandon coal, oil, and gas by 2040. While emissions have begun to reduce among the G-7 nations, particularly in Europe, they are still rising internationally, particularly in large, increasingly affluent economies such as India and China.

energy

We face the challenge of promoting reforms to address climate change… while also achieving energy security.

The G-7 nations seek to set an example, according to US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday.

“We expect those countries to see that this can be done, and the nations that have the wherewithal to make these investments to be the first out give hope to others that they will be able to do it as technology lowers the cost,” she said.

The United States government’s licensing of fossil fuel initiatives such as the Willow project on Alaska’s petroleum-rich North Slope has garnered criticism for its environmental impact and for contradicting President Joe Biden’s vows to reduce carbon emissions and transition to clean energy.

Given the predicted $23 trillion worldwide market for renewable energy by 2030, Granholm believes there is a strong commercial argument for climate-friendly policies.

“They see others gaining work in this field. People who start driving electric vehicles because they don’t have to pay petrol prices realize that it’s far cheaper to drive EVs. “It’s all becoming clear to people,” she said while touring the Suiso Frontier, the world’s first and only liquid hydrogen carrier, showcasing the latest technology for what Japan’s authorities call a “hydrogen society.”

While solar panels are increasingly being planted in Japanese farm fields rather than crops, and wind turbines dot the country’s windy beaches, the government expects around 60% of its energy to come from fossil fuels in 2030, with renewables accounting for up to 38%. New fuels and nuclear power would account for the remainder.

Meanwhile, Japan is scrambling to protect towns from extreme weather and other global warming-related effects. Summer heat, torrential rains that cause flooding and landslides, and intense storms have become the norm.

Japan is seeking approval for its so-called “GX transformation” plan in Sapporo, which its leaders claim is intended to promote energy sufficiency and phase out carbon emissions contributing to global warming.

energy

As the world is trying to overcome two crises, climate and energy, especially in Japan.

Unenacted legislation would require the issuance of 20 trillion yen ($150 billion) in bonds to assist in attracting 150 trillion yen ($1.1 trillion) in joint public-private investment in decarbonization. In addition, the bill asks for a carbon-pricing scheme to make firms pay for their carbon emissions.

Environmentalists argue that the plan will prolong the country’s fading nuclear industry while impeding the transition to renewable energy sources.

“As the world tries to overcome two crises, climate and energy, especially in Japan, we need to drastically increase renewables,” said Takejiro Sueyoshi, co-representative of the Japan Climate Initiative, a non-governmental organization with 768 member firms and organizations.

“Discussions in Japan have regressed to the twentieth century.” “We need to drive a wedge into the debate to move it forward rather than backward,” he remarked.

The JCI urged the officials meeting in Sapporo to set more ambitious targets, noting that Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy already get more of their electricity from renewable sources than Japan’s 2030 target and that the United States, despite its sluggish progress towards phasing out fossil fuels, will get the majority of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035.

“There isn’t much time left. The window of opportunity for change is narrowing, yet hope remains. Sueyoshi stated, “We must use the sense of crisis as a turning point.”

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom comprise the G-7.

energy

SOURCE – (AP)

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Fashion

2024: MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

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MLB

Major League Baseball players have encountered an unexpected issue ahead of the new season: a defective outfit.

Players and spectators have previously expressed issues about the new jerseys worn this season, and on Thursday, as spring training games began, MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) executive director Tony Clark expressed concern over the pants.

“A lot of the rhetoric is confirmation that the trousers are see-through,” Clark stated, according to ESPN. “It’s been a continuing conversation, with each day bringing something new that appears to make less sense than you’d like.

mlb

MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“Universal concern,” Clark remarked, “is the pant.”

The jerseys for the new uniforms, designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics, have already received criticism from fans for seeming cheap, lightweight, and having an unappealing appearance. Meanwhile, a Baltimore Orioles player described the new jerseys as “a knockoff” from TJ Maxx.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve landed in a place where the uniforms are the topic of discussion,” Clark said.

According to a news release, Nike collaborated with over 300 athletes to create a more breathable, lightweight, and stretchy jersey.

mlb

MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

The corporation has yet to react to CNN’s prior request for comment on criticism of the uniforms, and Fanatics has declined to comment.

Players wore them during last season’s All-Star Game, and Nike and MLB reported that they were favourably received.

“They’re designed to be performance wear rather than what’s traditionally worn, so they’ll be different,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said of the uniforms.

mlb

MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“I think after people wear them a little bit, they’re going to be really popular.”

This year’s Opening Day is set for March 28, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play two regular-season games in Seoul on March 20 and 21, marking the first MLB games in South Korea.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Nike Is Cutting About 1,700 Jobs

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Nike will lay off approximately 2% of its employees, or almost 1,700 people, as the sportswear titan seeks to save up to $2 billion in expenditures.

“The actions we’re taking put us in a position to right-size our organisation to pursue our most promising growth opportunities,” a Nike (NKE) representative said in a statement Friday. “While these changes will impact approximately 2% of our total workforce, we are grateful for the contributions made by all Nike teammates.”

According to its most recent annual report, the corporation employs around 83,700 individuals globally as of May 31, 2023.

nike

Nike Is Cutting About 1,700 Jobs

Nike lowered its revenue projection and announced cost cuts in December, citing rising fears that consumers worldwide are cutting back on spending. The corporation aimed to save up to $2 billion over the following three years.

Customers are shifting their spending habits, preceding discretionary purchases of things such as pricey trainers and athletic apparel in favour of necessities and experiences like concerts and travel.

Nike Is Cutting About 1,700 Jobs

Nike also faces stiff competition from emerging companies like Hoka and On Cloud.

When presenting the company’s latest financial results in December, Nike finance boss Matt Friend said its gloomier forecast reflected “indications of more cautious consumer behaviour around the world” and “increased macro headwinds in China and Europe.”

Nike Is Cutting About 1,700 Jobs

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is confronting significant hurdles, including dissatisfied customers, a real estate collapse, and decreased exports.

Meanwhile, according to official statistics released Wednesday, Europe narrowly averted a recession in the final three months of 2023, with its economy flatlining. Germany, the region’s largest economy, contracted last year for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Birkenstock Spooks With Cautious Outlook Even As Its Sandals Stay On Trend

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birkenstock

Birkenstock, a popular footwear manufacturer, startled investors with a cautious view in the New Year despite its pricey-yet-folksy sandals being popular among buyers of all ages.

The German shoemaker, which went public in October, released its first quarterly results after the IPO on Thursday. Despite good sales, the business issued a cautious view for 2024, predicting a “modest headwind to impact margins.”

Birkenstock shares fell about 8.5% on Thursday following the news.

birkenstock

Birkenstock Spooks With Cautious Outlook Even As Its Sandals Stay On Trend

The company forecasts adjusted earnings for the year to be roughly 30% lower due to “planned ramp up costs” compared to 32% in 2023.

It also expects sales to increase by 17% to 18% in 2024, compared to the previous year, as the company expands into new areas and invests in more retail outlets and delivery systems.

The company stated that a 6% increase in unit sales and a 14% increase in average selling price would result in a 20% increase in revenues for 2023 compared to the previous year.

“Their sales did exceptionally well in the quarter. The full-year sales guidance for the coming year was also higher than expected. In an interview with CNN, Abigail Gilmartin, a retail equities research analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, stated that their margin statement was the primary cause of the stock’s decline.

“They have extremely great profitability, which was a major issue during and after their IPO. This year, margins declined primarily due to inflation, and they advised a little more conservatively.

birkenstock

Birkenstock Spooks With Cautious Outlook Even As Its Sandals Stay On Trend

Because of the brand’s consistent demand, she claimed the company did not have to resort to significant discounting throughout the holiday season. Gilmartin stated that this year’s distribution centre investments represent a “near-term headwind” required for future growth.

“We expect margins to reaccelerate as additional capacity comes online,” she said. “Overall, the brand is healthy, with significant sales growth in the fourth quarter and promising first-quarter trends thus far. The company produces extremely high-quality items. Once you put on a Birkenstock, you realize how pleasant the footbed is.”

Birkenstock sandals, which range in price from about $50 for a low-cost waterproof foam version to well over $200 for its iconic premium leather styles, are popular among both older comfort-seeking consumers and younger TikTok-inspired shoppers, according to Beth Goldstein, a footwear analyst with market research firm Circana.

“It is a premium product, but compared to other luxury items, Birkenstocks are fairly accessible,” she said.

birkenstock

Birkenstock Spooks With Cautious Outlook Even As Its Sandals Stay On Trend

Birkenstocks, she said, experienced a rebirth about ten years ago, owing to collaborations with high-fashion labels and new additions such as fur-lined versions. Then the pandemic struck.

“The ease of these sandals matched with the informal comfort dressing trend, which was already in place prior to the pandemic and accelerated during it. Birkenstock was at the vanguard of it,” Goldstein explained. And it could remain there for the time being.

“There is no evidence that consumers are gravitating toward dressier styles. “Consumers still value casual comfort,” she said.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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