An Extinction Rebellion banner seen in Southampton, UK, in May 2019. EU leaders failed to agree to a carbon neutral EU by 2050. Photo: Shutterstock
EU climate neutrality disagreements, Hunt and Johnson in UK leadership battle, and tech tariff exemption plea. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
EU rift on climate neutrality
EU leaders failed to agree to commit to a climate neutral EU by 2050 in a summit held in Brussels on Thursday. The target was proposed by the Commission in November and would mean the EU would absorb as much CO2 as it emits. It was supported by some 22 countries though activists considered it too “vague”. However, on Thursday, the text was struck out after it was blocked by Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. More from politico, and The Guardian.
EU leadership stalemate
Strong disagreement over who will fill the EU’s most senior posts led to a stalemate at a leader summit on Thursday evening. Among other roles, leaders failed to reach agreement over the successor for Jean-Claude Juncker, who steps down in October. Ireland taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “It’s quicker to elect the pope very often than it is to fill these particular positions.” Leaders are expected to reconvene on 30 June. More from Politico, and The Guardian.
And then there were 2
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the last two UK MPs to battle it out to become the next Conservative leader and prime minister. In a final ballot in the House of Commons on Thursday, Johnson won the backing of 160 of the 313 Conservative MPs. The pair now face a vote involving up to 160,000 Tory members. The result is expected in late July. More from BBC news, The Guardian, and Politico.
Falling Facebook usage
Facebook usage has fallen in the last year, often related to moments when data, privacy and hate speech scandals broke, The Guardian reports. Actions including likes, shares and downloads were down nearly 20% since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in April 2018. The data, gathered by Mixpanel, contrasts with the narrative of Facebook, which says usage was up in the year ending March 2019.
Tech plea for tariff exemption
Technology companies have written to US president Donald Trump’s Administration asking for trade tariff exemptions on products they produce in China. The White House bill proposes a 25% tariff on a wide range of Chinese goods, including laptops and video games consoles. Around a dozen of the biggest tech companies have written saying the tariffs would increase consumer costs or impact their profits. More from CNN, The Verge, and Reuters.
Luxembourg’s justice ministry will today brief press on the progress made in the register of beneficial owners at 10:30am while the prime minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, will make a working visit to Luxembourg to discuss European affairs with prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP). Later today, parliament will debate banking fees, following on from a public petition on the subject.
An academic experiment that involved leaving wallets in places in 40 different countries, found that around half of the people who found them, handed them in. The results showed more money was in the wallet, the more likely people were to hand it in. More from The Guardian.