Investors lead push for Australian business to cut emissions more than government forecasts

Major investors and super funds will lead a push for the private sector to make much deeper cuts in national greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 than planned by the Morrison government, including setting a target based on what scientists say is necessary.



a herd of cattle grazing on a dry grass field: Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The newly created “climate league 2030” is calling on investors, insurers, banks and companies to sign up to a goal of reducing national emissions by at least 230m tonnes a year more than the government forecasts by 2030.

It is equivalent to about a 45% cut by 2030 compared with the 2005 benchmark used by the government – the minimum short-term target recommended by the government’s Climate Change Authority for Australia to play its part in keeping average global heating below 2C. They say action is needed now to put the country on a path to net zero emissions by

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Inside Trump’s push to use government funds to save his campaign

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a campaign rally at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport on September 3, 2020 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Trump won Pennsylvania in the 2016 election by a narrow margin. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

If President Donald Trump loses to former Vice President Joe Biden in this year’s presidential election, two of the main reasons are likely to be his response to his COVID-19 pandemic and his health care policy — specifically, Trump’s push to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. One desperate move that Trump is making in the hope of saving his campaign is promising senior citizens drug discount cards, and Politico’s Dan Diamond is reporting that Trump wants them to be available before November 3.

Diamond reports:

Caught by surprise by President Donald Trump’s promise to deliver drug-discount cards to seniors, health officials are scrambling to

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Will Italy’s Push For A Cashless Society Change Its Economy Forever?

The coronavirus pandemic has left Italy’s economy in a bad state, with the latest predictions foreseeing a -9% in GDP in 2020. At the same time, the online economy has limited the fall, leading to a +15% in the use of contactless payments and +80% of mobile payments compared to 2019. For the first time, Italy’s historic resistance to electronic transactions might be at a turning point. This is one of the reasons behind the country’s government decision to draft a plan in the direction of a ‘cashless society’, which is also meant to counter undeclared economic activity and tax evasion – a phenomenon that in Italy is worth 12% of the country’s GDP.

Even before the pandemic, Italy was not in good shape: it is at the 24th place out of 27 countries in the EU for number of

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Cash no longer king in Italy as COVID helps government push for plastic

By Elisa Anzolin and Gavin Jones

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s love affair with cash is fading. The coronavirus is turning Italians off notes and coins and the government is launching a raft of incentives to accelerate the trend, believing plastic payment can curb rampant tax evasion.

The Treasury estimates some 109 billion euros of tax is evaded annually, equal to about 21% of the revenue actually collected. The government believes the problem can be tackled by boosting digital payments which, unlike cash, leave a trace.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is offering refunds on some money spent electronically, tax breaks for outlets with card machines and a new 50-million euro ($58.93 million) state lottery for card users only.

The coronavirus, which forced the government to lock down the economy between March and May, is helping his efforts.

“We have seen a surge in digital payments since the lockdown, I think mainly

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Joe Biden says he’ll push new abortion rights law if Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said Monday he would work to pass legislation codifying the right to obtain an abortion if the Supreme Court takes action to undermine Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court ruling that recognized abortion rights.

At a Miami, Florida town hall held by NBC, a female participant asked Mr. Biden how he would respond if the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade because she was fearful of President Trump appointing Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court.

“Considering the new Supreme Court nomination of [Judge] Amy Coney Barrett, what are your plans to protect women’s reproductive rights in the U.S.?” the female questioner asked.

“Number one, we don’t know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to over, overview, overrule Roe,” Mr. Biden answered. “The only responsible response to that would be to pass

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Government incentives push electric car sales to record high in Germany

Volkswagen's ID4, the brand's first electric SUV, on show in Saxony, Dresden, Germany, on 23 September. Photo: Robert Michael/Picture Alliance via Getty
Volkswagen’s ID4, the brand’s first electric SUV, on show in Saxony, Dresden, Germany, on 23 September. Photo: Robert Michael/Picture Alliance via Getty

The shift to electric cars is gaining momentum in Germany, thanks in large part to government-backed incentives that are encouraging buyers to make the switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.

Figures published by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority on Monday show registrations of new all-electric vehicles (BEVs) have risen by 260% in September, from the same month in 2019, to 21,188. These now account for an 8% share of the overall car market.

Hybrids make up just over 20% of the passenger-car market, with registrations up 185% last month from the previous September.

As part of its coronavirus stimulus package, the German government decided not to fund discounts on fossil-fuel cars or back a cash-for-clunkers scheme, but rather to support the switch to clean mobility by doubling subsidies

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Pennsylvania counties push for changes to mail ballot law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s counties continue to press lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf to allow them to process mail-in ballots before Election Day in the battleground state as they consider the prospect of waiting until polls open to dig into what could be 3 million or more envelopes.

Allowing as many as 21 days to process mail-in ballots before Election Day has been the counties’ top election priority for months.

But it remained stuck Tuesday in a wider partisan dispute between the Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature amid a high-stakes presidential election and partisan lawsuits over how mail-in ballots should be collected and counted.

Demand is rising for mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus, and could surpass 10 times the amount in 2016′s presidential election.

County officials say processing mail-in ballots before Election Day will speed up vote counting amid concerns that a presidential election result will

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Australian government to pour AU$800m in digital business push

The Australian government has announced it will expand its digital identity system, touting that the move will allow more businesses to securely access government services online as part of its newly announced AU$800 million Digital Business Package.

The opt-in service allows users to verify their identity once before gaining access to over 70 government services, rather than having to continually be verified by each Commonwealth entity. It is currently being used by 1.6 million Australians and 1.16 million businesses.

“We need our businesses to be online, we need them to be digital businesses,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

“In recent months we have seen through COVID a rapid acceleration produced by necessity of businesses really engaging and upgrading their digital capability. What we’re announcing today, will build on that. It will strengthen it and it will accelerate it.”

The package also includes AU$28.5 million dedicated towards rolling out

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