Climate action, India’s COVID surge and a Super League red card | Business and Economy News

It’s been a dizzying week full of news. Some of these are hopeful – including the promise made by the world’s leading polluters to cut carbon emissions.

There have also been some tragic developments in India. This week there was a significant deterioration in the spread of COVID-19 there.

But some of the stories this week were downright ridiculous. For example, a planned multi-billion dollar European soccer league scored an embarrassing own goal.

And then there was the Dogecoin roller coaster and a son who was ordered to pay his mother $ 100 million.

So, if you’ve been too busy to grasp the details of everything that happened, here are the numbers you need to know.

50 percent

The amount by which the United States – the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter after China – pledged to reduce its atmospheric carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2005.

The aggressive engagement took place at a two-day summit convened by US President Joe Biden on Earth Day Thursday.

US President Joe Biden spoke on Thursday at the virtual climate summit of heads of state and government from the White House [Evan Vucci/AP Photo]”Time is short, but I think we can do it,” said Biden in his opening speech. “We will do it.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping has not proposed a new emissions target. Instead, China expects its carbon emissions to peak before 2030 and the country to reach net-zero emissions by 2060.

For more details on the Earth Day Summit, check out Ben Piven’s story here.

55 percent

This is the even more aggressive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions proposed by representatives of European governments and the European Parliament the day before Biden’s summit.

According to a proposed so-called European climate law, the bloc will consider reducing emissions by this amount by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. A number of related laws could transform the region’s economy.


The number of new COVID-19 infections India reported on Friday is a grim new daily world record.

India has been grappling with a surge in new coronavirus cases and deaths in the past few days as hospitals run out of space and vital resources such as oxygen. A doctor at a government-run hospital in the capital, New Delhi, told Al Jazeera that the recent wave of COVID-19 infections was like a “tsunami”.

Read Megha Bahree’s statement here for the short answer on how the surge in COVID-19 is likely to affect India’s economic recovery.

Meanwhile, India’s deepening health crisis has gripped global energy markets. The price of US crude oil is likely to drop about two percent weekly as investors prepare for a fall in energy demand as parts of India shut down to contain the spread of the virus. India is the third largest oil importer in the world.


$ 6.5 million

The amount of money raised through the sale of jade and gemstones at an annual price in Myanmar on a day earlier this month, according to local media.

Miners search for jade stones on a mine dump in a Hpakant jade mine in the state of Kachin. The industry is controlled by the military and the residents have to intercept the richest deposits of the bright green stone in the world [FIle: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters]The country’s military, which took power from civilian government on February 1, has long dominated Myanmar’s jade industry and continues to generate immense profits, write Emily Fishbein, Nu Nu Lusan and Zau Myet Awng.

In 2015, environmental watcher Global Witness valued Myanmar’s jade industry at $ 31 billion, calling it possibly the “largest invasion of natural resources in modern history.”

A miner in the town of Hpakant, Kachin state, which is home to the largest and most lucrative jade mines in the world, described an atmosphere of fear as security forces stepped up patrols on the site.

“I’ve seen a lot of zombie movies but never realized that I would live in a similar environment,” he said. “People don’t go out at all when they don’t have to.”

$ 51 billion

The estimated top market value was scaled this week by Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency with a Shiba Inu dog as its logo. It started as a bitcoin parody of sorts in 2013, but it now has some serious supporters, including billionaire Elon Musk, a tech entrepreneur.

Once a joke, investors are increasingly taking Dogecoin seriously after a sharp rise in value [File: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images]After rising by up to 400 percent within a few days, its market value briefly exceeded that of the auto giant Ford and the food company Kraft Heinz.

It later retreated about 20 percent and lost around $ 10 billion of its value.

Why is it so popular? Many analysts see this as yet another example of overly abundant investors looking for substantial returns in dark niche markets versus more established assets like blue chip stocks or bonds.

$ 100 million

The amount of money a London court ordered a son to pay his mother at the center of the UK’s largest divorce proceedings.

Temur Akhmedov worked with his billionaire father Farkhad Akhmedov to “do all he could” to prevent his mother from receiving a court-approved divorce settlement of £ 450 million ($ 627 million), said Judge Gwynneth Knowles in a ruling on Wednesday to the Bloomberg news agency. The judge ruled Temur should pay his mother more than $ 100 million.

$ 4.8 billion

The size of the investment by US banking giant JP Morgan in the now-collapsed European Football Championship of the Super League.

The six English clubs, which, along with Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, were among the original 12 founding members of the league, abandoned the project, which had been hastily launched last Sunday, after an angry reaction from fans and politicians.

The Super League had argued that this would increase revenue for the top clubs and allow them to distribute more money to the rest of the game.

Football fans demonstrate against the planned European Super League in front of Stamford Bridge football stadium in London on Tuesday [File: Neil Hall/EPA]However, the governing bodies of football, UEFA and FIFA, fan groups and other teams, said it would primarily increase the wealth of elite clubs. They also oppose the fact that the Super League would have been a closed competition that guarantees places for the teams involved year after year. Clubs in other leagues need to do well enough to stay in them.

“We live in the age of a new geopolitical sports economy because we have an intersection between economic, commercial, industrial and political interests,” said Paul Widdop, a sports business lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University (and a Liverpool fan), said Al Jazeera. Football is “a mirror of society”.

You can read an in-depth look at the debacle in James Brownsell’s story here.

So there’s a lot to chew on as you cheer on your favorite team this weekend.