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Britain targets a third of electricity from offshore wind by 2030

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Britain, which aims to lift industrial productivity as it leaves the European Union, is the world’s biggest offshore wind market with almost 40 per cent of global capacity.

On and offshore wind turbines met 17 per cent of UK power needs in 2018.

Under the initiative, the government said it would encourage companies to invest 250 million pounds in expanding production of windpower equipment so 60 per cent of content for British offshore windpower projects were domestically produced by 2030.

Claire Perry, Britain’s clean growth and energy minister, said in a statement the plan would help coastal communities and would ensure the country remained a global leader in the sector.

The government aims to triple the number of skilled jobs in the offshore wind industry to 27,000 by 2030.

Britain now has total installed wind power capacity of 20 Gigawatts (GW) with offshore wind farms accounting for 8 GW.

Offshore capacity will reach 30 GW by 2030 under the plan.

The country also hosts the world’s largest wind farm, Orsted’s 659 Megawatt (MW) Walney Extension project with 87 turbines, some of which can generate 8.25 MW each.

Britain aims to close coal-fired power stations by 2025 as it seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The failure of some nuclear power plans has also encouraged the focus on offshore wind to fill the potential power gap.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the government was still not doing enough to support low-carbon electricity production, saying Britain needed at least 45 GW of offshore capacity by 2030.

The government plan also did not mention power storage plans to deal with intermittent wind generation, although it has previously said it would develop a flexible grid with more links to Europe to help balance supply and demand fluctuations.

To help fund wind projects, Britain has said it would hold subsidy auctions, offering so-called contracts for difference (CfDs), every two years into the 2020s.

CfDs guarantee generators a minimum price for renewable electricity.

Contracts worth 60 million pounds will be auctioned in May. Innogy and SSE are among companies that have said they will bid.

 

Foreign

Britain, EU close new round of trade talks, little progress made

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Britain and the European Union (EU) closed their fourth round of trade talks on Friday with little progress made, their chief negotiators said.

“Progress remains limited but our talks have been positive in tone. Negotiations will continue and we remain committed to a successful outcome,” Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost said in London after the talks via video links.

“We are close to reaching the limits of what we can achieve through the format of remote formal rounds. If we are to make progress, it is clear that we must intensify and accelerate our work,” he said.

“We need to conclude this negotiation in good time to enable people and businesses to have certainty about the trading terms that will follow the end of the transition period at the end of this year, and, if necessary, to allow ratification of any agreements reached,” he added.

“Any such deal must of course accommodate the reality of the UK’s well-established position on the so-called ‘level playing field’, on fisheries, and the other difficult issues,” he added.

Also on Friday, Michel Barnier, the EU‘s chief negotiator on Britain’s exit from the EU, said in Brussels that there have been no significant areas of progress after the end of the fourth round of talks with Britain on their post-Brexit relations.

The EU has always been open to the possibility of an extension to the transition period, he said.

The latest round of intensive negotiations between Britain and the EU started on Tuesday via video links due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After this final scheduled round of talks now between the two sides, the focus will switch to a crucial meeting reportedly to take place later this month between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Johnson has insisted he will not extend the transition period beyond Dec. 31, with Britain and the EU facing the prospect of conducting trade under World Trade Organization rules if there is no agreement.

Britain quitted the EU on Jan. 31. The two sides started their negotiations for a new partnership in Brussels on March 2, which ended on March 5 with big divergences.

Britain has insisted that it wants a Canada-style relationship based on a comprehensive free trade agreement, supplemented by separate international agreements.

The kingdom has maintained that it will be a fully independent and sovereign country from Jan. 1, 2021, with no alignment with EU law and no jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

(XINHUA)

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People shop at reopened market in Bury, Britain

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People shop at reopened Bury Market in Bury, near Manchester, Britain, June 5, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 28 unveiled some “limited” and “cautious” easing of the country’s coronavirus lockdown measures. Outdoor retail and car showrooms started to open from June 1 and other non-essential retail will open on June 15. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)

(XINHUA)

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Russia slams United States, Britain for Hong Kong discussion in UNSC

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The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday blasted the United States and Britain for organizing a discussion on the situation in Hong Kong in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on May 29.

“We consider the situation in Hong Kong an internal affair of China and urge external forces to abstain from interfering in relations between the central government and the special administrative region of that country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a news briefing.

“Such actions undermine the sovereignty of the PRC (the People’s Republic of China) and they represent a gross violation of the fundamental standards of international law fixed in the UN Charter, and we believe they result from nothing else but the desire to settle accounts with a foreign political adversary,” she added.

The attempts to fill the agenda of the UNSC with issues which are outside the framework of its mandate are counterproductive and may lead to a reduction of the efficiency and a weakening of the authority of this organ, which is the most important for the modern system of international relations, Zakharova said.

On May 28, the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) of China adopted the “Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security.”

The United States and the United Kingdom, for their own political purposes, have been making unwarranted comments, interfering and obstructing, and attempted to push for an open video conference in the UN Security Council.

China expressed strong opposition, and the vast majority of the Council members did not support the United States proposal, believing that the Hong Kong-related issues were China‘s internal affairs and had nothing to do with the mandates of the Security Council. The Security Council rejected the unreasonable request of the United States, and its attempt failed.

In face of strong opposition from China and Security Council members, the United States and the UK could only mention Hong Kong under “any other business” in the informal consultations of the Council.

This move was strongly countered by China and generally opposed by Council members. They urged the United States and the UK to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and making groundless accusations against China.

There was no consensus, no formal discussion in the Security Council, and the United States and the UK‘s move came to nothing.

(XINHUA)

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EU, Britain to present results of latest negotiations

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The European Union (EU) and Britain will on Friday end their fourth round of negotiations on a post-Brexit trade agreement.

The EU’s lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m., and the British side will also speak.

Expectations are subdued.

The previous three rounds of talks have resulted in little progress made from either side.

At stake is the trade and partnership agreement for the period after Brexit’s transition phase expires at the end of 2020.

Britain formally left the EU at the end of January, but is still in the EU internal market and the customs union.

If no agreement is reached within the deadline, there is the threat of a severe economic break.

Customs duties and other trade barriers would then come into force.

Both sides had planned to achieve tangible interim results by now.

At a summit meeting scheduled to be held this month, an initial assessment of the talks is to be made, and a decision taken on possibly extending the transitional phase.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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People mourn George Floyd in Manchester, Britain

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BRITAIN-MANCHESTER-GEORGE FLOYD-MURAL” src=”https://nnn.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/139116625_15913438253401n.jpg” sourcename=”本地文件” sourcedescription=”网上抓取的文件”>

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Local artist Elton Darlo makes an artwork by a mural of George Floyd, who was suffocated to death while under police custody in the mid-western United States state of Minnesota last week, in central Manchester, Britain, on June 4, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)

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China urges Britain to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs

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A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged Britain to stop meddling in affairs of Hong Kong which is a special administrative region of China.

Britain should recognize and respect the fact that Hong Kong has returned to China, and should not use the Sino-British Joint Declaration as an excuse to make irresponsible remarks, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.

Zhao made the comments in response to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab‘s remarks that the “authoritarian” national security legislation in Hong Kong was in breach of the “one country, two systems” and “this is a moment for China to step back from the brink” and respect Hong Kong‘s autonomy and its own international obligations.

Britain’s historical link with Hong Kong arises from the period of invasion, colonialism and unequal treaties. Authoritarian is “precisely the word to describe its colonial rule in Hong Kong,” Zhao said, adding that it is after the return of Hong Kong that the residents came to enjoy unprecedented rights and freedoms.

“To quote its own words, we urge the UK to ‘step back’, reject the Cold-War mindset and the colonial mentality, recognize and respect the fact that Hong Kong has already returned to China as a special administrative region,” he said.

The National People’s Congress‘s decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security is part of China‘s internal affairs that allows no external interference, Zhao said.

National security is the very foundation for the existence and development of all countries, and the core and fundamental element of national sovereignty, he added.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration is all about China‘s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong. The basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration are China‘s statement of policies, not commitment to Britain or an international obligation as some claim, he said.

As China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, the Chinese government administers the SAR in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Meanwhile, all rights and obligations of the British side under the Joint Declaration were completed.

“You cannot find a single word or article in the Joint Declaration that confers on the UK any Hong Kong-related responsibility after the handover,” Zhao said.

The UK has no sovereignty, no jurisdiction and no right to supervise Hong Kong. As such, on no ground can it cite the Joint Declaration to arbitrarily comment on Hong Kong affairs or interfere in China‘s domestic affairs,” he said.

The national security legislation for Hong Kong is an essential step to safeguard national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and the foundation of “one country, two systems.” Only when national security is ensured can “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity be guaranteed.

Zhao said this legislation only targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security and has no impact whatsoever on Hong Kong‘s high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong.

“What threatens Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity is precisely some external forces colluding with local anti-China rioters in conducting activities in the SAR that jeopardize China‘s national security,” he said.

He said China deplores and opposes the unwarranted comments and accusations by the British side, and has lodged stern representations with Britain.

“It should abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China‘s domestic affairs,” Zhao said. “Otherwise, there will be consequences.”

(XINHUA)

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Camden Market reopens in London, Britain

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BRITAIN-LONDON-COVID-19-CAMDEN MARKET-REOPENING” src=”http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-06/03/139111610_15911900291861n.jpg” sourcename=”本地文件” sourcedescription=”网上抓取的文件”>

BRITAIN-LONDON-COVID-19-CAMDEN MARKET-REOPENING” src=”http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-06/03/139111610_15911900291861n.jpg” sourcename=”本地文件” sourcedescription=”网上抓取的文件”>

Photo taken on June 2, 2020 shows the entrance to Camden Market in London, Britain. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 28 unveiled some “limited” and “cautious” easing of the country’s coronavirus lockdown measures. Outdoor retail and car showrooms started to open from June 1 and other non-essential retail will open on June 15. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)

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Britain has ‘colonial mentality’ toward Hong Kong, says China

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China on Wednesday accused Britain of having a “colonial mentality,” after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised Hong Kong residents a path to citizenship if China enacted planned national security laws.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Britain’s historical link to Hong Kong stemmed from “aggressive, colonial and unequal treaties.”

We urge the British side to retreat from the cliff, abandon the Cold War mentality and colonial mentality, recognise, and respect the fact that Hong Kong has returned” to China, Zhao said, or else Britain risked “smashing its own feet with the rock it is lifting”.

The statement came after Johnson pledged to change Britain’s immigration law to offer Hong Kong residents a path to citizenship if Beijing enacted the national security laws for the financial hub.

In an opinion piece published in the South China Morning Post, Johnson said Britain expected China to abide by international agreements, referring to the 1984 joint Sino-British declaration, which aimed to protect Hong Kong’s freedoms.

The former British colony of Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997.

China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, last week approved a plan to establish new laws in Hong Kong targeting subversion, secession and terrorism.

Critics say the laws will be the death of the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, which guarantees certain freedoms for Hong Kong until 2047.

On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China should “step back from the brink” regarding the law, which is expected to be rolled out as soon as August.

Meanwhile, protests have returned to Hong Kong, with police cracking down on anti-government demonstrators.

More disruption is expected on Thursday, when a bill that would outlaw mocking the national anthem will be decided in Hong Kong’s legislature.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Britain to hold rally for George Floyd, nationwide kneeling

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Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter groups plan to hold a rally in central London and a nationwide kneeling on Wednesday to protest the death of African-American man George Floyd in United States police custody.

Black Lives Matter in London encouraged protesters to wear red at an afternoon rally in Hyde Park to “protest against the rights of black people being abused globally.”

Stand Up to Racism urged people across Britain to “take the knee on (their) doorstep and/or hold signs … to say #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter” at 6 pm (1700 GMT).

“We understand the anger that has motivated people to come out and protest across the USA and also here in Britain,” the group said, following earlier protests in London and other British cities.

It called for “socially distanced protests to show solidarity with those resisting racism in the United States and against the policies that have led to massively disproportionate BAME deaths in the COVID-19 pandemic in Britain.”

BAME is an acronym used by the British government and other organisations for black, Asian, and minority ethnic people.

BAME communities are also disproportionately impacted by the rapid economic contraction, as well as police brutality which is not unique to the United States, as the recent tasering by police of Desmond Ziggy Mombeyarara in Greater Manchester shows,” Stand Up To Racism said.

London’s Metropolitan Police said that 23 people were arrested following weekend protests over Floyd’s death in the city of Minneapolis last week.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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