Ms. Madgwick survived, her leg broken by a dislodged radiator. Her sister and brother, Marilyn and Carl, both died.

The scale of the disaster quickly made it a moment of national introspection and trauma, and the queen soon decided to visit.

One of the biggest regrets of her reign was that she did not go sooner, a leading aide later said, and some villagers say the eight-day delay rankled the community at the time. But today, the residents largely remember her arrival as a moving gesture of solidarity from someone they never expected to lay eyes on.

research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Other wings of the British state angered the village by refusing to prosecute any coal industry officials for negligence. Successive governments also declined to cover the whole cost of removing other dangerous slurry tips near the village, forcing villagers to dip into donations intended for survivors, until they were finally fully reimbursed in 2007.

But the queen’s concern for Aberfan meant that she was seen as separate from the state’s indifference, despite being its titular head.

Elsewhere in Britain, people have debated whether the queen could really ever rise beyond politics, given the monarch’s interest in maintaining her own role in Britain’s political system. But in Aberfan, there was less doubt.

“There’s no political agenda there,” said Jeff Edwards, 64, the last child to be rescued from the rubble. “The queen is above all that.”

In Aberfan, most people expressed sympathy for her family and respect for her sense of duty. But there are those, particularly among young generations, who have had a more ambivalent response to the queen’s death.

For some, the accession of King Charles III — as well as the abrupt appointment of his son William to his former role of Prince of Wales — is more problematic.

“I should be Prince of Wales, I’m more Welsh than Charles or William,” said Darren Martin, 47, a gardener in the village, with a laugh. Of the queen, he said: “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the woman. But I do think the time has come for us in Wales to be ruled by our own people.”

The abruptness of the queen’s death was a psychological jolt that has prompted, in some, a rethinking of long-held norms and doctrines.

“If things can change drastically like that, why can’t things change here?” asked Jordan McCarthy, 21, another gardener in Aberfan. “I would like Welsh independence.”

Of a monarchy, he added: “Only if they’re born and raised in Wales — that’s the only king or queen I’ll accept.”

Generally, though, the mood in Aberfan has been one of quiet mourning and deference. The local library opened a book of condolence. Villagers gathered in the pub to watch the new king’s speeches and processions. Some left bouquets beside the tree planted by the queen.

On Monday night, a men’s choir, founded by grieving relatives half a century ago, gathered for their biweekly practice. Proud Welshmen, they were preparing for their next performance — singing songs and hymns, some of them in Welsh, on the sidelines of the Welsh rugby team’s upcoming game.

But halfway through, the choir’s president, Steve Beasley, stood up.

“We all know about the queen,” Mr. Beasley said. “Please stand up for a minute’s silence.”

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Biden To Meet With South African Leader About Ukraine, Trade, Climate

By Associated Press
September 16, 2022

South African leaders have accused the U.S. of focusing on the Ukraine conflict to the detriment of other global crises.

U.S. President Joe Biden and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are set to meet Friday at the White House for talks on Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate issues, trade and more.

Ramaphosa is among African leaders who have maintained a neutral stance in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with South Africa abstaining from a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s actions and calling for a mediated settlement.

South Africa’s international relations minister, Naledi Pandor, said Ramaphosa would emphasize the need for dialogue to find an end to the conflict during his meeting with President Biden and in separate talks with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Pandor added that the issue will be South Africa’s focus when it participates in the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly next week.

“We would want a process of diplomacy to be initiated between the two parties and we believe the U.N. must lead, the U.N secretary-general in particular,” Pandor said.

The White House meeting comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to South Africa last month, in which he said the Biden administration sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global problems.

But the administration has been disappointed that South Africa and much of the continent have declined to follow the U.S. in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During the Blinken visit, Pandor accused the U.S. and other Western powers of focusing on the Ukraine conflict to the detriment of crises around the globe.

“We should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine, as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine,” she said.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has sought to underscore that Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports has led to scarcities in grain, cooking oil and fertilizer — resulting in disproportionate impact on Africans.

South Africa’s neutral position is largely because of the support the Soviet Union gave during the Cold War era to Ramaphosa’s African National Congress in its fight to end apartheid, South Africa’s regime of repression against the Black majority that ended in 1994. South Africa is seen as a leader of the several African countries that will not side against Russia.

Despite the differences on the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration recognizes the importance of strengthening relations in Africa as China has spent decades entrenching itself in the continent’s natural resources markets. Improving relations with South Africa — one of the continent’s biggest economies — is central to the U.S. effort.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the two leaders would also discuss climate change and opportunities to increase trade and investment. Harris and Ramaphosa will discuss global health security, space cooperation and other matters, when they meet over breakfast at the vice president’s residence, Jean-Pierre said.

South Africa’s ambitious efforts to transition from coal to cleaner energy are expected to be discussed during the leaders’ talks. The U.S., Britain, France and Germany announced a plan last year to provide $8.5 billion in loans and grants over five years to help South Africa phase out coal.

Ramaphosa could also raise with President Biden the failure of the United States and other wealthier nations to make good on a more than decades-old pledge — first made in 2009 and reaffirmed at the 2015 Paris climate talks — to spend $100 billion to help developing nations deal with climate change.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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King Charles III, In First Address, Vows ‘Lifelong Service’

King Charles III speech was broadcast on television at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people were attending a service of remembrance.

King Charles III vowed in his first speech to the nation as monarch Friday to carry on Queen Elizabeth II’s “lifelong service,” as Britain entered a new age under a new sovereign. Around the world, the queen’s exceptional reign was commemorated, celebrated and debated.

Charles, who spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role of king, addressed a nation grieving the only British monarch most people alive today had ever known. He takes the throne in an era of uncertainty for both his country and the monarchy itself.

He spoke of his “profound sorrow” over the death of his mother, calling her an inspiration.

“That promise of lifelong service I renew to all today,” he said in the recorded, 9 1/2-minute address, delivered with a framed photo of the queen on a desk in front of him.

“As the queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I, too, now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said.

The king’s speech was broadcast on television and streamed at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people attended a service of remembrance for the queen. Mourners at the service included Prime Minister Liz Truss and members of her government.

As the country began a 10-day mourning period, people around the globe gathered at British embassies to pay homage to the queen, who died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

In London and at military sites across the United Kingdom, cannons fired 96 shots in an elaborate, 16-minute salute marking each year of the queen’s life.

In Britain and across its former colonies, the widespread admiration for Elizabeth herself was occasionally mixed with scorn for the institution and the imperial history she symbolized.

On the king’s first full day of duties, Charles left Balmoral and flew to London for a meeting with Truss, appointed by the queen just two days before her death.

He arrived at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s London home, for the first time as sovereign, emerging from the official state Bentley limousine alongside Camilla, the queen consort, to shouts from the crowd of “Well done, Charlie!” and the singing of the national anthem, now called “God Save the King.” One woman gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Under intense scrutiny and pressure to show he can be both caring and regal, Charles walked slowly past flowers heaped at the palace gates for his mother. The mood was both grieving and celebratory.

The seismic change of monarch comes at a time when many Britons are facing an energy crisis, the soaring cost of living, the war in Ukraine and the fallout from Brexit.

As the second Elizabethan Age came to a close, hundreds of people arrived through the night to grieve together outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and other royal residences, as well as British embassies worldwide. Some came simply to pause and reflect.

Finance worker Giles Cudmore said the queen had “just been a constant through everything, everything good and bad.”

At Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, mourner April Hamilton stood with her young daughter, struggling to hold back tears.

“It’s just such a momentous change that is going to happen,” she said. “I’m trying to hold it together today.”

Everyday politics was put on hold, with lawmakers paying tribute to the monarch in Parliament over two days, beginning with a special session where Truss called the queen “the nation’s greatest diplomat.”

Senior lawmakers will also take an oath to King Charles III.

Meanwhile, many sporting and cultural events were canceled as a mark of respect, and some businesses — including Selfridges department store and the Legoland amusement park — shut their doors. The Bank of England postponed its meeting by a week.

But while Elizabeth’s death portends a monumental shift for some, day-to-day life in Britain went on in other respects, with children in school and adults at work, facing concerns about inflation.

Charles, who became the monarch immediately upon his mother’s death, will be formally proclaimed king at a special ceremony Saturday. The new king is expected to tour the United Kingdom in the coming days.

The queen’s coffin will be brought to London, where she is expected to lie in state before a funeral at Westminster Abbey, expected around Sept. 19.

Elizabeth was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a symbol of constancy in a turbulent era that saw the decline of the British empire and disarray in her scandal-plagued family.

The impact of Elizabeth’s loss will be unpredictable. The public’s abiding affection for the queen had helped sustain support for the monarchy during the family scandals, including the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, but Charles does not command that kind of popularity.

“Charles can never replace her, you know,” said 31-year-old Londoner Mariam Sherwani.

Like many, she referred to Elizabeth as a grandmother figure. Others compared her to their mothers, or great-grandmothers.

But around the world, her passing revealed conflicting emotions about the nation and institutions she represented.

In Ireland, some soccer fans cheered.

In India, once the “jewel in the crown” of the British empire, entrepreneur Dhiren Singh described his own personal sadness at her death, but added, “I do not think we have any place for kings and queens in today’s world.”

For some, Elizabeth was a queen whose coronation glittered with shards of a stunning 3,106-carat diamond pulled from grim southern African mines, a monarch who inherited an empire they resented.

In the years after she became queen, tens of thousands of ethnic Kikuyu in Kenya were rounded up in camps by British colonizers under threat from the local Mau Mau rebellion. Across the continent, nations rejected British rule and chose independence in her first decade on the throne.

She led a power that at times was criticized as lecturing African nations on democracy but denying many of their citizens the visas to visit Britain and experience it firsthand.

While the global fascination with the British queen is puzzling to some, others felt a personal connection to a woman who seemed ubiquitous, from banknotes used on multiple continents to TV shows like “The Crown” — which is pausing production to honor her.

Adi Trivedi, a 33-year-old British lawyer living in Paris, called Elizabeth “a model of humility, a model of duty, taking the ego out of an office of state.” He hopes to join the mourners at Buckingham Palace soon, so that “we can really celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II together.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press. 

Source: newsy.com

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Princess Diana’s Global Impact 25 Years After Her Death

By Luke Hanrahan
August 31, 2022

A young woman who positively altered the public’s perception of the royal family and made a lasting impact on the world is remembered 25 years later.

Capturing imaginations from the very beginning, Diana — then an innocent 20-year-old but marrying the future king — would transform her life. 

Photographers would follow her wherever she went.  

While the princess hated the intrusion, she quickly learned the media was also a tool she could use to bring attention to a cause.

Before she met Prince Charles, Princess Diana lived in a three-bedroom apartment in South Kensington. She had “chief chick” written above her bedroom door. She was an archetypal small-town girl from the English countryside who would come and go in a Mini Metro car. People remember her as a typical girl next door. It’s difficult to believe how Princess Diana would go on to impact not just British society, but further afield too.

“I think the one that sticks to memory is the walking amongst the mines … I can still see that very clearly today,” Diana’s former neighbor John Fultner said. “It was quite an emotional time. It was quite significant.” 

Whether it was stepping out onto an active minefield to aid in the call for an international ban on land mines, or highlighting poverty alongside Mother Teresa, Diana made a positive impact on the contemporary issues of her day.  

Raymond Kyle is a former neighbor who, like many, has his own personal and long-lasting memories of Diana.

“I think the AIDS thing, there was a real stigma and Princess Diana went out to shake hands with them. And that really, I think, did help,” he said. 

She was a woman who became not just a mother but an international style icon who made a difference to millions.  

Her death 25 years ago on Aug. 31 shook the world: a car crash in Paris, precipitated by a paparazzi chase.  

The scale of the outpouring of public emotion in Britain had never been seen before and has never been seen since.   

“I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others and, especially, for her devotion to her two boys,” Queen Elizabeth II said during Diana’s funeral.

Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, have similarly learned to harness the power of the media to shine a light on just causes.

“I think she would be extremely proud of both of them,” London resident Jill Brailey said. “They’ve gone in separate directions but they’re really good lads and I think she would be proud of them.”

“The monarchy, having witnessed a sharp decrease in its popularity in the aftermath of Diana’s death, basically looks to these boys as the saviors of the institution and the entire, if you like, front of the institution is remodeled around their ambitions as two young royals,” royal historian Ed Owens said. “So the reason she matters is because she transformed the institution during her lifetime. But in terms of her legacy, she’s continued to transform the institution through the figures of her two sons.” 

Diana was a young woman who positively altered the public’s perception of the royal family and made a lasting impact on the world — a legacy her sons continue to honor and maintain.

Source: newsy.com

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Diana’s Car Auctioned As 25th Anniversary Of Her Death Nears

By Associated Press
August 27, 2022

Diana drove the black Ford Escort RS Turbo from 1985 to 1988.

A car driven by Princess Diana in the 1980s sold for 650,000 pounds ($764,000) at auction Saturday, just days before the 25th anniversary of her death.

Silverstone Auctions said there was “fierce bidding” for the black Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1 before the sale closed. The U.K. buyer, whose name was not disclosed, paid a 12.5% buyer’s premium on top of the selling price, according to the classic car auction house.

Britain and Diana’s admirers worldwide are preparing to mark a quarter century since her death. She died in a high-speed car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

Diana drove the Escort from 1985 to 1988. She was photographed with it outside boutique shops in Chelsea and restaurants in Kensington. She preferred to drive her own car, with a member of her security team in the passenger seat.

The RS Turbo Series 1 was typically manufactured in white, but she got it in black to be more discreet. Ford also added features for her security, such as a second rear-view mirror for the protection officer.

The car has just under 25,000 miles on it.

Last year, another Ford Escort that Diana used sold at auction for 52,000 pounds ($61,100).

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Exclusive: Japan seeks to organise Sri Lanka creditors’ meeting on debt crisis

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TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Japan is seeking to organise a Sri Lanka creditors’ conference, hoping it could help solve the South Asia nation’s debt crisis, but uncertainties cloud the outlook for any talks, three people with knowledge of the planning said.

Tokyo is open to hosting talks among all the creditor nations aimed at lifting Colombo from its worst debt crisis since independence, but it is not clear whether top creditor China would join and a lack of clarity remains about Sri Lanka’s finances, one source told Reuters.

Japan would be willing to chair such a meeting with China if that would speed up the process for addressing Sri Lanka’s debt, estimated at $6.2 billion on a bilateral basis at the end of 2020, this source said.

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Reuters last week that Sri Lanka would ask Japan to invite the main creditor nations to talks on restructuring bilateral debts. He said he would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo next month, when he is expected to attend the funeral of the assassinated former premier Shinzo Abe. read more

Tokyo, the number two creditor, has a stake in rescuing Sri Lanka, not just to recoup its $3 billion in loans but also its diplomatic interest in checking China’s growing presence in the region.

S&P Global this month downgraded Sri Lanka’s government bonds to default after it missed interest and principal payments. The island nation of 22 million people off India’s southern tip, with debt at 114% of annual economic output, is in social and financial upheaval from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on top of years of economic mismanagement.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team met Wickremesinghe on Wednesday to discuss a bailout, including restructuring $29 billion in debt, as Colombo seeks a $3 billion IMF aid programme. read more

The president met the same day with Japan’s ambassador.

Tokyo believes a new “platform” is needed to pull creditors together, the sources said.

“Sri Lanka is running out of time since it defaulted on its debt. The priority is for creditor nations to agree on an effective scheme,” one source said.

“Japan is keen to move this forward. But it’s not something Japan alone can raise its hand and push through,” said the source, adding that the cooperation of other nations was crucial.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment. Sri Lanka’s central bank and Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. An IMF spokesperson declined to comment.

NEW FRAMEWORK NEEDED

Concerns include rivalry and territorial tensions between big creditors China and India, while Sri Lanka would have to commit to reforming its finances and disclose more information about its debt, the sources said.

Last month, shortly after Wickremesinghe took office when his predecessor fled the country, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to him that he was “ready to provide support and assistance to the best of my ability to President Wickremesinghe and the people of Sri Lanka in their efforts”. read more

But the sources said getting Beijing’s cooperation on a debt restructuring was complicated by factors such as a large number of lenders and that China was baulking at taking a “haircut” on its loans and at reducing Colombo’s debt burden.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters that Beijing was “willing to stand with relevant countries and international financial institutions and continue to play a positive role in helping Sri Lanka respond to its present difficulties, relieve its debt burden and realise sustainable development.”

Japan hopes to see a new debt restructuring framework resembling one set up by the Group of 20 big economies targeting low-income countries. Sri Lanka does not fall under this “common framework” because it is classified as a middle-income emerging country.

“It must be a platform where all creditor nations participate” to ensure they all shoulder a fair share in waiving debt, another source said. The third said, “Until these conditions are met, it would be difficult for any talks to succeed.”

The common framework, launched by the G20 and the Paris Club of rich creditor nations in 2020, provides debt relief mainly through extension in debt-payment deadlines and reduction in interest payments.

Some people involved think an initial creditors’ meeting could be held in September, but one source said it would “take a little while, possibly several months”.

Restructuring talks are only possible after the IMF scrutinises Sri Lanka’s debt, the sources said.

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Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Takaya Yamaguchi in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto and Kentaro Sugiyama in Tokyo, Uditha Jayasinghe in Colombo, Eduardo Baptista in Beijing and David Lawder in Washington; Writing by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Lopez And Affleck Celebrate Marriage With Friends, Family

By Associated Press
August 21, 2022

The celebrity couple were officially married last month in Las Vegas, which Lopez shared with fans in her “On the J Lo” newsletter.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck said “I do” again this weekend.

But instead of in a late night Las Vegas drive-through chapel, this time it was in front of friends and family in Georgia, a person close to the couple who was not authorized to speak publicly said Sunday.

According to People Magazine, the wedding was held at Affleck’s home outside of Savannah, Georgia, with all of their kids present for the proceedings on Saturday.

The celebrity couple were officially married last month in Las Vegas, which Lopez shared with fans in her “On the J Lo” newsletter.

“Love is beautiful. Love is kind. And it turns out love is patient. Twenty years patient,” Lopez wrote last month, signing off as Jennifer Lynn Affleck.

Lopez, 53, and Affleck, 50, famously dated in the early 2000s. They starred together in 2003’s “Gigli” and 2004’s “Jersey Girl” and became engaged, but didn’t wed at the time.

Paparazzi has feverishly trailed the couple since they rekindled their romance last year, from the earliest stages of the courtship, to their red carpet debut at last year’s Venice International Film Festival and their recent honeymoon in Paris.

Representatives for the couple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Prince William Charity Invests With Bank Tied To Dirty Fuels

Financial experts say investments like those of the prince’s conservation foundation can be blind spots for charities and philanthropies.

The conservation charity founded by Prince William, second in line to the British throne and who launched the Earthshot Prize, keeps its investments in a bank that is one of the world’s biggest backers of fossil fuels, The Associated Press has learned.

The Royal Foundation also places more than half of its investments in a fund advertised as green that owns shares in large food companies that buy palm oil from companies linked to deforestation.

“The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice,” the prince, a well-known environmentalist, is quoted saying on the websites of the Earthshot Prize and Royal Foundation.

Yet in 2021, the charity kept more than $1.3 million with JPMorgan Chase, according to the most recent filings, and still invests with the corporation today. The foundation also held $2 million in a fund run by British firm Cazenove Capital Management, according to the 2021 filing. As with JPMorgan, it still keeps funds with Cazenove, which in May had securities linked to deforestation through their use of palm oil. The foundation invested similar amounts in both funds in 2020, its older filings show. As of December 2021, the charity also held more than $12.1 million in cash.

The investments, which the Royal Foundation didn’t dispute when contacted by the AP, come as top scientists repeatedly warn that the world must shift away from fossil fuels to sharply reduce emissions and avoid more and increasingly intense extreme weather events.

Financial experts say investments like those of the foundation can be blind spots for charities and philanthropies. As climate change is an increasing area of attention for foundations and others, organizations have sometimes struggled to recognize where their own investments lie and align them with more environmentally friendly choices, despite growing numbers of ways to steer clear of funds linked to fossil fuels.

Like the Royal Foundation, in recent years other foundations, including high profile British charities like the National Trust and Wellcome Trust, also have faced criticism for investments with strong connections to fossil fuels or environmentally harmful practices. Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates announced that he divested his foundation’s direct oil and gas holdings in 2019.

Charities that are talking the talk “also need to walk the walk,” said Andreas Hoepner, professor of Operational Risk, Banking and Finance at University College Dublin, who helped design several European Union climate benchmarks and has sat on its sustainable finance group.

“There are funds that are more sustainably oriented,” Hoepner added, pointing to a dozen alternatives to the JPMorgan product that are marketed as sustainable.

There are also alternatives to Cazenove’s sustainability fund. For example, funds manager CCLA caters to churches and charities and does not invest in businesses that get more than 10% of their revenue from oil and gas. Another option is Generation Investment Management, founded in part by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

The Royal Foundation said by email that it had followed Church of England guidelines on ethical investment since 2015, and goes beyond them.

“We take our investment policies extremely seriously and review them regularly,” the statement said.

The foundation said management fees paid to JPMorgan were small, but declined to provide a figure.

It’s not clear what role, if any, Prince William had in investment decisions, as he did not respond to AP requests for comment. JPMorgan Asset Management in an email declined to comment on questions about charities investing in their products despite its record of financing fossil fuels.

Bloomberg data show JPMorgan has underwritten more bonds and loans for the fossil fuel industry and earned greater fees than its competitors in the five years up to 2021.

Environmental NGO Rainforest Action Network looked at direct loans and stock ownership along with bonds and estimated that between 2016 and 2021, JPMorgan’s banking arm financed fossil fuel companies with some $382 billion. This was more than any other bank.

“Major investors have their pick of companies to manage their assets, and mission-driven institutions have options well beyond the world’s worst fossil fuel bank,” said Jason Disterhoft, senior energy campaigner with Rainforest Action Network.

As one of the world’s biggest banks, JPMorgan is also a leading financier of green projects, and has set a target of investing $1 trillion in these over the next decade. However, it made about $985 million in revenue from fossil fuels compared to $310 million from green projects since the Paris Agreement in 2015, about three times more, according to Bloomberg Data.

Compared to some other charities, the Royal Foundation’s investments are small, with little impact on climate change. But they are not in line with the ethos of the foundation, which lists conservation and mental health as main points of emphasis, or Prince William’s public statements. His Earthshot Prize, a “global search for solutions to save our planet,” awards grants of up  to $1.2 million each year to projects confronting environmental challenges, according to the charity’s website, which suggests banks as among potential recipients. In July, the Royal Foundation announced that the Earthshot Prize had become an independent charity and Prince William would be its president.

Through launching and awarding the prize and in other public appearances, Prince William has been outspoken on the environment for years. He has argued that entrepreneurs should focus their energies on saving the Earth before investing in space tourism, encouraged parents to consider how their children don’t have the same outdoor opportunities they had and urged conservation.

“Today, in 2022, as the queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, the pressing need to protect and restore our planet has never been more urgent,” the prince said in June during Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

The policies of the Royal Foundation do not allow ownership of stock in oil companies, tobacco or alcohol. But profits from the Royal Foundation’s account could enable JPMorgan to loan more money to the many oil companies it backs, allowing their expansion. In the same way, investing in companies tied to problems with palm oil supply could help fund unsustainable practices.

While the Cazenove fund is marketed as “sustainable,” as of May 31 the fund held almost $6 million of shares in Nestlé, and shares worth $8.1 million in Reckitt Benckiser, according to Morningstar Direct data. Both Nestlé and Reckitt Benckiser have faced controversy over their palm oil supply. Clearing rainforests to make way for palm oil plantations is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest drivers of deforestation.

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturer, while Reckitt manufactures popular U.S. brands including Lysol and Woolite, and Vanish and Dettol, familiar in the U.K.

A 2021 investigation by the environmental NGO Global Witness said both companies were sourcing palm oil via intermediaries from illegally deforested areas in Papua New Guinea. The plantations responsible were also accused of corruption, use of child labor and paying police to attack protesters.

Another 2021 report, by sustainability analysts Chain Reaction Research, said both companies purchased palm oil from an Indonesian firm that has an affiliated mining project accused of deforestation in an orangutan habitat.

An investigation in 2020 by Chain Reaction Research found that more than 1,235 acres — over 1,000 American football fields — of rainforest in Indonesia’s Papua province were felled by a supplier to Wilmar, a giant food and oils producer, from which both source their palm oil.

David Croft, head of sustainability at Reckitt, said no tainted palm oil entered its products from the Papua New Guinea properties, while conceding their mills were previously in its supplier list. An intermediary company linked Reckitt to the Indonesian mining conglomerate in its supply chain, he said, and it was investigating. Croft said they have had “active discussions” with Wilmar, which stopped sourcing from the Papua plantation in January 2022. In a public statement published in response to Chain Reaction’s investigation, Wilmar disputed the cleared area was high conservation value forest.

Despite being a “relatively small user of palm oil,” Reckitt knows there is more to do, said Croft, and is accelerating its progress. Croft said Reckitt could not get all the product it needs from certified producers before 2026.

Emma Keller, head of sustainability at Nestlé U.K. and Ireland, said the Wilmar case was to be investigated. Nestlé engages with suppliers that fall short to help them change and monitors performance, she said.

Sixty percent of Nestlé’s palm oil supply was certified as sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, an industry-organized effort, in 2021, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. For Reckitt, that figure was 15.3%.

Keller said that by winter 2021, more than 90% of Nestlé palm oil was deforestation-free and it will achieve zero-deforestation status by the end of 2022. It uses supply chain maps, on-the-ground verification and satellite monitoring for verification. Nestlé was moving toward “a model for conserving and restoring the world’s forests,” Keller said.

Lily Tomson, of the responsible investment charity ShareAction, said Cazenove had shown some leadership on sustainable investing, but there “remain areas charities such as the Royal Foundation can push them on.”

Investors can vote on key environmental issues in companies where they hold shares, for example setting targets to align with the Paris Agreement, or on climate lobbying. Yet Cazenove’s parent company, Schroders, voted against 22% of environmental resolutions last year, ShareAction research has found.

Kate Rogers, head of sustainability at Cazenove Capital, said the company engaged with Nestlé and Reckitt, and has seen progress on deforestation.

Environmental factors are ingrained in the company’s decision-making, she said, every investment assessed for sustainability. Cazenove has committed to eliminating commodity-driven deforestation from its investments by 2025 and said a new voting policy meant that as of June 2022, the firm had voted against 60 directors of companies it invests in over a lack of climate action.

Dr. Raj Thamotheram, former head of responsible investing at both a $109 billion British university pension fund and AXA Investment Managers, said foundations should be better regulated, with annual reports made to detail how well their investment strategy aligns with their mission.

Thamotheram, now an independent adviser, called unsustainable investments a “cultural and governance blind spot of huge proportions,” and said they were endemic in the charity sector.

“It’s the status quo approach and it needs shaking up,” he said.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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China And U.S. Spar Over Climate On Twitter

By Associated Press
August 17, 2022

The verbal skirmish grew out of China’s suspension of talks with the U.S. on climate and several other issues earlier this month.

The world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are sparring on Twitter over climate policy, with China questioning whether the U.S. can deliver on the landmark climate legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden this week.

“You can bet America will meet our commitments,” U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns tweeted in response on Wednesday, using a national flag emoji for “America.” He called on China to resume suspended climate talks, writing, “We’re ready.”

The punchy exchange, part of a longer back and forth on Twitter, is emblematic of a broader worry: U.S.-China cooperation is widely considered vital to the success of global efforts to curb rising temperatures. With the breakdown in relations over Taiwan and other issues, some question whether the two sides can cooperate.

After Congress passed the climate bill last Friday, Burns took to Twitter over the weekend to say the U.S. was acting on climate change with its largest investment ever — and that China should follow.

On Tuesday night, China’s Foreign Ministry responded with its own tweet: “Good to hear. But what matters is: Can the U.S. deliver?”

The verbal skirmish grew out of China’s suspension of talks with the U.S. on climate and several other issues earlier this month as part of its protest over a visit to Taiwan by a senior American lawmaker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Climate has been one of the few areas of cooperation between the feuding countries. U.S. officials criticized China’s move, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying it “doesn’t punish the United States — it punishes the world.”

Asked to respond, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian called on the U.S. last week to “deliver on its historical responsibilities and due obligations on climate change and stop looking around for excuses for its inaction.”

The ministry later tweeted some of his answer, and Burns responded four days later with his tweet on the U.S. climate bill. Using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China, he ended with, “The PRC should follow+reconsider its suspension of climate cooperation with the U.S.”

China elaborated on its “Can the U.S. deliver?” message with a second tweet suggesting that the U.S. meet rich country pledges to help poorer countries cope financially with climate change and lift sanctions imposed last year on solar industry exports from China’s Xinjiang region because of allegations of forced labor.

The Twitter battle highlights a perception divide between the longstanding superpower that wants to lead and the rising power that no longer wants to feel bound to follow anyone else’s direction.

The decision by former President Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord — reversed by President Biden after he took office last year — dealt a blow to American credibility on the issue.

A Chinese expert praised parts of the U.S. legislation but said it is overdue and not enough.

“Although there are some breakthrough achievements in the bill, I am afraid it can’t reestablish U.S. leadership on climate change,” said Teng Fei, a professor at Tsinghua University’s Institute of Energy Environment and Economy.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has been pressing China to set more ambitious climate goals. China has responded that its goals are realistic, given its development needs as a middle-income country, while the U.S. sets ambitious goals that it fails to achieve.

China’s ruling Communist Party generally sets conservative targets at a national level because it doesn’t want its performance to fall short. Those targets are sometimes exceeded, though, in the eager pursuit of those goals by local officials.

“China should be able to do better than its national targets indicate,” said Cory Combs, a senior analyst with the Trivium China consultancy. “But of course, those local plans are all subject to failure and delays, so it’s impossible to tell quite what they’ll add up to.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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