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Climate spying begins; and Germany's election carbon angle

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

As the climate community tallies up the international pledges made during last week’s global leaders summit, two of the world’s biggest intelligence agencies said they are beefing up their climate surveillance capabilities to keep the world honest.

The head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and the director of National Intelligence in the U.S. said in separate interviews over the past few days that monitoring climate commitments and tracking political instability caused by weather, immigration, and water and food degradation have become key national security priorities.

For example, one day after Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro pledged to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon at President Biden’s summit last week, he approved a 24% cut to the country’s environmental budget.

For the intelligence services, the changing shape of territories because of global warming, mass movement of populations and the increasing scarcity of resources such as water means the global spy game will be at the leading edge of geopolitics, even as countries pledge to work together.

No surprise that “trust, but verify” will now extend to greenhouse gas emissions. It will be interesting to see how such intelligence plays out in the markets, particularly in fossil fuels. Queue the next James Bond movie.

More insights below. . . .

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In German election, Green party surge creates hope for constitutional carbon target

. . . . Germany’s election in September, which will see a successor to Angela Merkel after 16 years, has suddenly risen to the top of the climate agenda after the country’s Green Party has soared in the polls, writes Darrell Delamaide. The Green’s candidate, Annalena Baerbock, is seen as a real hope not to just become the next chancellor but to create the conditions for a carbon target to be enshrined in the country’s constitution if she wins, according to German financier Jochen Wermuth. Delamaide talks with Wermuth about the non-partisan GermanZero group’s climate hopes. . . .

Read the full story

Monday’s subscriber insights: Biden’s clean jobs plan, plus a carbon border tax trial balloon

. . . . If President Biden’s climate policy can be summed up as one in which clean energy investment equals jobs, then New York State is becoming the standard bearer for the country. An aggressive target for complete renewable energy use is starting to look more realistic. Read more here. . . .

. . . . Climate czar John Kerry said last week that a carbon border adjustment tax for the U.S., such as the one the European Union is considering, is on the table. While more politically palatable than a domestic carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy, such border taxes have protectionist implications the administration should think through before pushing forward. Read more here. . . .

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