Breakingviews

Can countries rebrand themselves like companies?

By Breakingviews Columnists
June 12, 2015

A Lazard-WPP partnership to create “nation branding programs” raises the question. It’s one thing for a cheese or booze maker to become Mondelez or Diageo, quite another for despotic regimes or broken economies to simply rename themselves. Our columnists take a stab at a few.

Forget ethics, carbon divestment looks profitable

June 11, 2015

Norway’s state fund and insurer AXA are ditching carbon-rich companies. The rhetoric may be ideological, but the economic case against coal and legacy utilities is strong. They face tough challenges, even if political action against climate change remains lacklustre.

Review: Growth pains for Asia’s eco-capitalists

June 5, 2015

A new book by Mark Clifford hails green business as the antidote to Asia’s environmental crisis. But the eulogy inadvertently highlights companies’ unhealthy dependence on subsidies and debt. Clean-tech businesses must confront this flaw if they are to live up to the hype.

Beijing rains warn investors about political climate

July 26, 2012

Floods inflicted a high human cost for a modern city. Attempts to squash criticism of the response made matters worse. The lesson isn’t just that Beijing needs better drains, but that anxiety and defensiveness prevail ahead of a leadership change. China’s risk premium is rising.

Five reasons why 2010 will be greener

By Pierre Briancon
January 1, 2010

Economics, rather than politics, will be the main driver of the fight against global warming in 2010.

China well placed to turn green into gold

December 17, 2009

China has been reluctant to give way on climate change issues, as the stalemate at the Copenhagen summit shows. But the desire to be tough negotiators shouldn't get in the way of green initiatives. China may have more to gain than most from a global push towards a greener world, both as a heavy commodity user and as an exporter into a potential $1 trillion market.

Senate prepares cap-and-trade obituary

November 17, 2009

It is hard to get a major bill passed in a Democrat-controlled Senate when the Democratic majority leader of the Senate wants the bill to go away. And have no doubt that Senator Harry Reid would like to see cap-and-trade go away -- or at least disappear until after 2010.

EU looks lonely on climate high ground

By Paul Taylor
November 2, 2009

icebergNegotiations to save the planet from catastrophic climate change are heading for trouble, five weeks before a crucial U.N. conference in Copenhagen.

Carbon tax should be no joke

October 21, 2009

The most plausible aspect of this week's U.S. Chamber of Commerce hoax was not the spot-on (but phony) press conference created by a guerrilla performance group. No, what really seemed to have the ring of truth was the purported change of political positions by the Chamber on the issue of climate change policy.

Carbon tariff threat useful in climate talks

By Paul Taylor
October 20, 2009

Supporters of free trade cry foul at the idea of a carbon tariff on imports from countries with lower environmental standards than Europe or the United States.