China and Russia lead work to establish World Bank rival

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BRICS: The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – concluded their most recent meeting in Durban by signing the New Development Bank into existance, but they were unable to agree who will fund it. The summit’s joint statement begins work to establish the bank but earlier rumours of a $50bn initial funding pot proved unfounded. The new bank will be viewed as a countermeasure to the World Bank, which is dominated by the US. (BRICS Statement)

The five delegations led by their respective heads of state at the BRICS summit (Source: BRICS5 Durban)

UK: Electric cars in the UK should be exempt from parking fines and congestion charges to encourage more people to buy them, according to the IPPR think tank. Meanwhile Nissan’s factory in the north of England will begin production of the firm’s all electric LEAF model today. (RTCC/The Northern Echo)

US: The Fisker luxury electric car manufacturer has told staff not to return to work for a period of temporary unpaid leave. The company’s founder, Henrik Fisker resigned earlier in the month. It has a loan repayment for part of the $192m it received from the Department of Energy due next month. (GigaOM)

Security: More than 100 countries now regard climate change as a national security concern and are taking steps to assess their ability to manage new threats, according to a new report by US analysts American Security Project. (RTCC)

UK: Michael Fallon will replace John Hayes as the UK energy minister. The outspoken Hayes, who only took up the role in a Cabinet reshuffle in September last year, is a vocal wind farm opponent. Hayes replaced Charles Hendry who was popular with industry and the broad spectrum of policy advocates. Fallon moves from a business brief. He has previously spoken of the growth potential of the green economy, particularly solar energy.

“We know that solar energy is the way of the future because it’s clean and reliable, and helps to save importing oil or burning fossil fuels. Solar is now a growth industry,” he said in January last year.


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