HSU football coach Rob Smith resigns

first_imgRob Smith announced his resignation as head coach of the Humboldt State University football team during a midday press conference at Baywood Golf & Country Club on Tuesday. The resignation comes a month after Smith, along with HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and Interim Athletic Director Duncan Robins, announced that the football team would live to see a 2018 season.The resignation, according to Robins, will not take effect until Friday. Robins said as of now Cory White is the acting head coach. …last_img read more

Maboneng moves to Ghana

first_imgPeople live there. And eat, socialize, work and open businesses there. The Maboneng district has revitalized a part of inner city Johannesburg (Image: Darren Smith) • Jonathan Liebman Founder Propertuity +27 11 592 0513 • Moad builds a genius space for Africa’s arts • New technology hub for Braamfontein • Creativity for a good cause • Benin gallery keeps African art in Africa • Smart cities need innovative citizensRomaana Naidoo Joburg’s trendy urban neighbourhood, Maboneng is the inspiration behind a new development initiative planned for Accra, the coastal capital of Ghana.Jonathan Liebmann, the founder of Propertuity, the company that owns and developed what many see as the embodiment of regeneration in the inner city, says he will take his Maboneng model to the West African city because “it’s in need of something alternative to the new buildings that are going up”. Although the Maboneng model is the inspiration for the new development, Liebmann says the concept will always be adapted to the local environment, while features such as mixed-use space and mixed-income housing will remain.Maboneng, meaning “Place of Light”, is an ultra-modern take on inner city living, breathing new life into the once-derelict eastern side of the Joburg CBD. The precinct is a “mixed-use” space that offers housing, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as loft apartments, offices, a hotel, a museum and creative factory spaces, all in an urban landscape. Although the plans for Ghana are still in their infancy, Liebmann has already identified a local partner and is looking into various prospects.With this being Propertuity’s inaugural venture outside South Africa, Liebmann says: “Our initial investment will be limited so as to not materially change our risk profile” to ensure the project doesn’t negatively affect the company’s finances. “We are still mainly focused on Maboneng as our largest investment but we feel the company has gained intellectual capital that can now be leveraged in other parts of Africa.”He adds that Perpetuity will look to invest and develop in any city with a significant population but it largely depends on the local partners that become available. Africa offers huge growth and a unique vibrant culture that other parts of the world do not, Liebmann says.The future of the property sector on the continent, “will follow major international trends in becoming consolidated and owned by fewer larger companies rather than being family-owned”.Choosing GhanaThe Greater Accra Metropolitan Area is home to some four million people, so it makes sense that Liebmann would venture there first. As Accra has expanded, some of the old buildings have been neglected. Large numbers of buildings have not been finished, mainly because the organisations and individuals who own them have run out of money. However, new suburban areas are being established with services and infrastructure to cater to the needs of the middle-class earners.Present-day Accra is a modern city with British, Danish and Dutch influences, such as James Fort; Osu, now Osu Castle; and Ussherstown near the Dutch Ussher fort. It’s also home to the National Museum of Ghana, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Archives of Ghana and Ghana’s central library, the National Theatre, the Accra Centre for National Culture, a lighthouse, and a sports stadium.Over the year, immigrants from the Americas, Europe, Asia and other African countries have flocked to Accra, and the city has expanded. Ring Road, extending from the Korle Lagoon in the west, going east to the juncture of Independence Avenue, and continuing on to Osu, forms a circle around the oldest districts of the city. This area separates central Accra from the outlying suburbs.Central Accra comprises the CBD, which is made up of the historic districts of Usshertown, Tudu, Victoriaborg, West Ridge and East Ridge, as well as the historic residential districts of Jamestown, Adabraka, Asylum Down, North Ridge and Osu. Residential areas are mostly found in eastern Accra or north of Ring Road East, stretching as far north as Kwame Nkrumah Motorway. Western Accra, on the other hand, is a mix of residential and business.Portions of Accra’s inner city contain a mixture of very low-density and high-density developments, with under-utilised service infrastructure as well as overstretched infrastructure. Housing can be grouped into three broad categories: low income, middle income and high income. Low income housing areas include Osu, Jamestown, Adedenkpo, Chorkor, La, Teshie, Nungua, Sukura, Kwashieman, Odorkor, Bubiashie, Abeka, Nima, Maamobi and Chorkor.Together, they are home to about 58% of Accra’s total population; and most of the city’s informal businesses are situated in low income areas. In the inner city, low income structures are built with minimal room to expand.Accommodation in middle income areas, which are largely populated by Ghanaian citizens, has been provided by state, parastatal and private sector organisations and individuals. These suburbs include Dansoman Estates, North Kaneshie Estates, Asylum Down, Kanda Estates, Abelempke, Achimota,Adenta and Tesano. Buildings here are better than those in low income suburbs since they have been planned. The middle income group makes up 32% of the city’s population.The remaining 10% of the population live in high income suburbs. These comprise North Ridge and West Ridge, Ringway Estates, north Labone Estates, Airport Residential Area, Roman Ridge, and East Legon. Buildings in the high income suburbs are spacious, well-planned and well-developed.Environmental redesignLiebmann was drawn to property development because of its “necessary scale to be able to create change”. He says: “I am obsessed with good design as I believe design can be a major tool to transform an environment… Regeneration is a focus of our company so we like to start with areas that really need attention. The area [Maboneng Precinct] made sense in that it’s very centrally located and has beautiful old buildings.”Propertuity is focused on transforming areas by designing and developing iconic properties to create an “integrated and uplifted urban environment”. “I enjoy the character and design of the old buildings; I have been exposed to them on my travels and so have seen the way that they can be converted into new spaces,” says Liebmann.Speaking about the driving force behind taking such a massive risk with Maboneng, he says: “It started with my personal needs to live and work in alternative spaces. I am also a true urbanist so for me, reconnecting with the urban core was the driver.“Our 2020 vision for Maboneng is to grow the community to 20 000 people. We have 30 buildings in the pipeline to be developed in the next three years.” Liebmann is one of the youngest property developers in the country and says his age has allowed him to be fully committed to his work and have the energy to take on numerous tasks.Recent developmentsPropertuity has recently concluded an agreement with Arrowhead Properties for the company to buy eight buildings in the Maboneng Precinct for R180-million. The acquisition, at a forward yield of 11%, is in line with Arrowhead’s strategy to procure “revenue-enhancing properties”. The buildings will be managed by specialist CBD property managers Mafadi Property Management.These eight buildings, with a to let area of 58 000m2, are mainly industrial, with a smaller component of office and retail. “We will use the funds from this sale to propel Maboneng into its next development phase,” says Liebmann.Propertuity intends to develop and sell more properties to Arrowhead in a mutually beneficial relationship. Propertuity focuses on development and Arrowhead on acquiring developed property with solid yields. Arrowhead’s overall strategy is to increase its portfolio to R10-billion by 2016 by obtaining properties that offer attractive yields. It currently owns properties valued at more than R5-billion.Arrowhead’s chief executive officer, Mark Kaplan, explains: “This transaction further reinforces the continued interest in the Johannesburg inner city where regeneration efforts have resulted in improved property values.”Maboneng PrecinctLiebmann founded Propertuity in 2008 with a vision to create a well-designed and affordable integrated urban offering in Johannesburg. That year, the company made its first acquisition and along with architect Enrico Daffonchio, designed and developed Arts on Main, which offers a space for creatives to live and work. By 2009, Arts on Main was completed and celebrated artist William Kentridge and the art-focused Nirox Foundation’s NIROXprojects gallery moved in as tenants.Following its success, Propertuity initiated plans to develop the surrounding area to form a “connected urban neighbourhood”. This led to the company acquiring its second structure just 500m from Arts on Main, at 286 Fox Street; in 2010, Main Street Life was completed. It has 194 residential apartments, a boutique hotel and ground floor shops. That same year, Propertuity began construction on Revolution House, on the corner of Kruger and Main streets; The Main Change, at 20 Kruger Street; and Fox Street Studios, at 280 Fox Street.The Maboneng Precinct is made up of a number of completed and “in the pipeline” developments which include:·         Artisan Lofts (residential, 260 Market Street);·         The Main Change (commercial offices, 20 Kruger Street);·         Craftsmen’s Ship (industrial, 260 Main Street);·         Maverick Corner (retail, 300 Commissioner Street);·         Arts on Main (mixed use, 264 Fox Street);·         Revolution House (residential, 21 Kruger Street – corner Kruger and Main streets);·         12 Decades Hotel (7th floor, 286 Fox Street);·         Fox Street Studios (commercial, 280 Fox Street);·         MOAD – Museum of African Design (exhibition and performance space, 281 Commissioner Street);·         Main Street Life (residential, 286 Fox Street);·         The Urban Fox (residential, 276 Fox Street);·         Curiocity (backpackers’ lodge, 302 Fox Street);·         Off the Grid (five-storey parking lot and transport hub, 250 Main Street);·         Remed’s View (student accommodation, 306 Commissioner Street);·         Aerial Empire (mixed-use, Sivewright Avenue);·         Rocket Factory (residential, 275 Commissioner Street);·         Living MOAD (residential, 281 Commissioner Street); and,·         The Townhouse (residential, 280 Fox Street Street).Arts on Main was recognised for its original use of public space when it scooped the Johannesburg Development Agency’s Halala Award for “Relaxing and Playing Joburg: the recreation destination” in 2010. The category recognises “creativity and innovation through the use of new and old buildings that provide unique recreational spaces”.In 2012, The Main Change won the Halala Award for “Working and Buying Joburg: creating a business destination”, which identifies innovative commercial and retail developments that attract people to the business hub.Liebmann was invited to speak at TEDxStellenbosch in 2011 on how his projects had developed a vibrant community and creative hub in the Maboneng Precinct.He has participated in many forums, including the World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May 2012, where he represented Johannesburg and South Africa on the global stage. At the event, Liebmann was asked to speak on Urban Africa. He championed the regeneration of blighted urban areas and spoke about his company’s vision to rescue old office blocks and warehouses in Johannesburg and convert them cultural hubs, with galleries, artist studios, offices and retail spaces for the creative community.He was also chosen as one of Forbes’s “Top 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30” in 2012 and 2013, and featured in the Mail and Guardian’s “Top 200 Young South Africans in 2010”. He appeared on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine in February 2013. The success of Maboneng has breathed new life into the city. Now Jonathan Liebman hopes to emulate that success in Ghana. (Image: Pascal Parent)last_img read more

Insulating a Flat Roof

first_imgTom Jordan is a painting contractor in northern New Jersey who’s at his wit’s end as he tries to figure out a remodeling job at his own home. It seems simple enough. Jordan is turning a three-season room on his 1930s house into a fully conditioned space. The room measures 12 feet by 16 feet and has an 8-foot ceiling. The flat roof overhead is framed in full-depth 2x6s, finished with what Jordan believes is roll roofing (a type of asphalt roofing). “My issue is how to correctly insulate the ceiling,” he writes in a Q&A post. “I’ve spent what seems like hundreds of hours online and had a few insulation contractors look at the room, and I can’t believe the inconsistencies that exist on this subject.”RELATED ARTICLESCan Unvented Roof Assemblies Be Insulated With Fiberglass?Insulating Low-Slope Residential RoofsFlash-and-Batt InsulationSite-Built Ventilation Baffles for RoofsCut-and-Cobble Insulation In Climate Zone 5, the prescriptive table of the International Residential Code requires at least R-49 of ceiling insulation. With 2×6 rafters, that’s a tall order, and Jordan adds a couple of major caveats. “The roof is only four years old, so removing it is not an option,” he says, ruling out a layer of exterior rigid foam. “The room does not have any venting, nor is it possible to vent … Before anyone suggests closed-cell spray foam, I’m ruling that out. I have no confidence in the ‘healthiness’ of the product. It might be a great product, but I don’t want it in my house.” Those are the ground rules for this Q&A Spotlight. You need exterior insulation Convenient or not, Jordan will need exterior insulation over the roof sheathing in order to meet code minimums, says Ryan Lewis, advice that is seconded by GBA editor Martin Holladay. And it will be important to maintain the correct ratio of interior to exterior insulation. “You need sufficient exterior insulation, typically rigid foam — but I guess you could use other stuff, too,” Lewis writes. “In Zone 4A you need R-15. If you are in Zone 5 you need at least R-20.” In order to meet the R-49 requirement, Jordan will need the balance of the insulation — an R-value of 29 — on the inside. “Ripping up the roof to add exterior insulation is just not an option,” Jordan replies. Instead, he proposes making the rafters 7 inches deep and then adding two layers of R-15 mineral wool for a total of R-30. Drywall would be the air barrier, and the primer and paint would act as the vapor retarder. The consensus for exterior insulation, despite his objections to it, is emblematic of Jordan’s frustration. “This is unbelievable in that three different insulation contractors (all reputable) gave me three different opinions,” he says. One recommended R-19 fiberglass batt insulation with ventilation baffles. The second contractor favored two layers of rigid foam with two separate ventilation spaces. The third said he’d apply 2 inches of spray foam and “call it a day.” Why spray foam makes sense If there is no way to vent the area below the roof sheathing, as Jordan has indicated, leaving a gap between the insulation and the sheathing won’t help, and may be a problem, says Bill. “If someone suggested a ventilation space in an unvented ceiling assembly, then they probably don’t understand the physics of how the assembly actually works,” he adds. In an unvented “hot roof,” Bill says, the key is to keep moisture away from the sheathing, and the only reliable way of accomplishing that is with closed-cell spray foam. Bill has a shallow-pitch roof at his own house, and no way of venting it. He used 6 1/2 inches of closed-cell spray foam (R-38) for both air and vapor sealing, and he’s had no problems. An experienced spray foam installer is essential. The contractor that Bill used told him that temperature and pressure of the two agents that mix in the spray gun are critical. “He constantly adjusted these things throughout the job as he was applying the foam,” Bill said. “I had zero issues with improperly cured foam anywhere. I think you’ll find that if you use an experienced spray foam contractor you won’t have any problems.” What happens if the roof leaks? If Jordan were to go the spray-foam route, he wonders what would happen in the event of a roof leak. With a layer of impermeable foam coating the under side of the sheathing, where does the water go? This is the ceiling of the three-season room that Tom Jordan wants to insulate. Suggestions include closed-cell spray foam and a layer of exterior rigid foam. [Image credit: Tom Jordan]“You’re pretty much screwed if you get a roof leak,” Bill tells him. “The water won’t be able to get out, will pool up on top of the spray foam, and soak into the sheathing. You need to make sure your roof is properly flashed and sealed everywhere.” Bill suggests waiting a month or two before applying the foam, just to make sure there are no roof leaks. Every time it rained, Bill says he took a strong light and checked the sheathing for evidence of a leak. When he was sure there were none, he felt safe in adding the spray foam. The cut-and-cobble approach There are no takers on Jordan’s idea of stuffing the rafter bays with mineral wool for an R-30 ceiling and calling it good enough. For one thing, that amount of insulation is below code. What about putting two layers of 2-inch rigid foam between the rafters, and filling the rest of the cavity with R-15 of mineral wool? “I understand it does not meet code,” Jordan says, “but will it suffice? Do the 4 inches of rigid foam mimic what 4 inches of closed-cell spray foam would do?” Cutting sheets of rigid foam to fit between rafters or studs is called the “cut-and-cobble” approach, Bill says, and the only situation where it’s safe is in a vented roof. “With your unvented roof, a cut-and-cobble install will never seal well enough,” he says, “so you’ll end up with moisture getting to the underside of the sheathing, which is bad.” Further, Jordan’s view that spray foam is the “next asbestos” is unwarranted, Bill adds. “I really think you should reconsider your stance on spray foam,” he says. “As long as it’s installed properly, the cured foam is a very stable material. Worst case, it would be something like the old lead paint — safe unless you disturb it. Even asbestos is considered safe if it’s encapsulated and not disturbed.” Our expert’s opinion GBA Technical Director Peter Yost had these thoughts: Venting “flat” roofs: In order for venting to work, you need air flow — two holes and a driving force. It’s pretty easy to add two vents. The problem is the driving force. There simply is not enough air movement from wind, especially in low buildings, and there is really no stack effect. Can you mechanically ventilate? I have never seen this done in a way that does not make flat roof assemblies wetter rather than drier. It’s most often because there is no continuous air control layer between the insulation below and the vent space but it is also because setting up the sensors for controlling the mechanical ventilation is challenging. Solar reflectivity/absorptance of roof cladding: “Cool” roofs that reflect solar energy significantly reduce drying potential in most flat roof assemblies. Evaluating spray foam: Given what we know now about global warming potential (GWP), someone asked me the other day, would I have used closed-cell foam on the exterior of my house as I did in 2002-2007? In my exterior wall assembly, the closed-cell spray foam was my continuous water, air, and thermal barrier. That alone makes it pretty hard to give up on. And I know this Spotlight is about a flat roof, not a wall, but my point is that sometimes there is just so little else that can do the job. Additionally, closed-cell spray foam is now available with HFO blowing agents with a global warming potential (GWP) of approximately 1. That is a huge environmental footprint change for closed-cell spray foam. Having said that, spray foam is job-site chemistry. There are lots of variables to manage to get the chemistry right (for more, see this article from BuildingGreen). Finally, when applying spray foam inside a building, keeping the building unoccupied for 72 hours after application is a good idea. Air sealing: It seems as though just about every other Q&A on GBA hammers on airtightness, and in flat, unvented roof assemblies, you need to be fanatical about this. The lack of inherent drying potential of flat roof assemblies with membrane claddings means you’ve got to get the air control layer right. You might have a look at Joe Lstiburek’s article “Doubling Down: How Come Double Vapor Barriers Work?” While the assemblies he cites have worked, they are not the most robust and they are pretty dependent on solar heating. Double vapor barrier or not, get the interior air control layer right.last_img read more

Hire for the Right Set of Attributes

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Recently a good friend sent me a list of outcomes he wants his new salespeople to achieve. He’s using this list as a sort of hiring guide. But to generate these outcomes, you need to look for the underlying attributes.Self Starter: The underlying attribute is self-discipline. Intrinsic motivation is found when a person has a burning reason, a bigger “why.” To discover whether or not they are a self-starter, you need to understand how they view their disciplines and the reasons they take action.Sales Strategy – Strategic Thinker: This is a combination of business acumen and situational knowledge. It’s an understanding of human psychology, business principles, and a base of experiences on which to draw.Respected, Credible, Trusted Advisor: This is about influence, which is a combination of a whole bunch of attributes, like caring, business acumen, and situational knowledge. To be a trusted advisor you have to care enough to generate the trust and know enough to do the advising.Customer Focus: This is caring. If you care more about your outcome than your clients, you reek of a deal-breaking self-orientation.C-Suite Access: Overrated, in my opinion (You really want the CEO of the Problem in most cases). But if you want C-Suite access you had better be steeped in business acumen, and you better have a damn important strategic issue that deserves the C-Suite’s attention.Sells Value: I can almost tell you how willing a salesperson is to sell value by looking at their pipeline. If you don’t prospect like the devil, you won’t sell value. You’ll be too worried about losing and cave on price.Leverages Resources: This is leadership. You have to be able to sell inside your own organization and lead your internal team.If you want these outcomes (or some like them), you have to hire the underlying attributes. You can teach, train, coach, and develop the skills easier than you can build the attributes (and you should do both).QuestionsWhat outcomes do you need an employee to be able to achieve?What are the underlying attributes that allow them to produce those outcomes?How can you help develop these attributes in your employees?last_img read more

Photo: USC Interim Coach Clay Helton Wrote A Letter To “Trojan Family”

first_imgInterim USC Coach Clay Helton's letter to the Trojan family.Helton LetterClay Helton has taken over as interim coach at USC for the second time in his tenure, and he should provide the program with some much-needed stability. After assuming the head coaching duties, Helton produced a letter for the entire USC family, which USC shared on its official athletics Twitter account last night. Upon taking over as interim head coach, Clay Helton wrote a letter to YOU, the #TrojanFamily. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/dA6M7xCev8— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 14, 2015Classy move. Helton and his players will get their first chance to “Fight On” this Saturday when they take on their nationally ranked arch-rival Notre Dame at 7:30 PM EST in South Bend. The game will be televised on NBC.last_img read more

Verizon slips on 46B charge related to Oath media business

first_imgNEW YORK — Shares of Verizon are falling before the opening bell after the company said it would take a $4.6 billion hit for what’s become an expensive internet foray that’s never panned out.In a regulatory filing late Tuesday, Verizon Communications Inc. says that it will take the charge in the fourth quarter to cover weak revenue and earnings from its Oath media business. Verizon expects Oath to face continued competitive pressure and says that the benefits from integrating Yahoo and AOL with the enterprise were less than expected.Verizon this week said that 10,400 U.S. managers have accepted voluntary buyout offers. The New York company is making $10 billion in cost cuts, money that will be used to ramp up 5G technology investments.Shares are down more than 1 per cent Wednesday.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Suncor CEO to retire

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Suncor Energy Inc. says Steve Williams will retire as chief executive after the company’s annual meeting next May.Williams, 62, joined Suncor in 2002 and took the helm of Canada’s largest energy producer by market capitalization from longtime CEO Rick George when he retired in 2012.Williams has been one of the more outspoken CEOs in the oilpatch, insisting recently the company will approve no new major expansion projects until Canada’s export pipeline access problem is resolved. He has also led the way in support for environmental initiatives and was one of four energy company leaders to stand alongside Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in 2015 when she unveiled the province’s sweeping climate plan, which included a growing carbontax.The company says Mark Little, 56, will trade in his chief operating officer title to become president effective immediately and will assume the CEO’s role in May.Little joined Suncor in 2008 and has served in several leadership roles in the company’s oilsands and international and offshore operations.last_img read more

Mandhana breaks into top 3 in T20I batting rankings

first_imgDubai: India opener Smriti Mandhana broke into the top three of the ICC Womens Twenty20 International batting rankings, released on Sunday. Mandhana was India’s highest scorer, with 72 runs in three matches, in what was a dismal series for the home team as they suffered a 3-0 sweep by England in Guwahati. Mandhana took the place of West Indies all-rounder Deandra Dottin who moved up a spot to second place displacing Mandhana’s India team-mate Jemimah Rodrigues. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherRodrigues totalled just 15 runs in the three-match series and took a tumble to sixth position. New Zealand’s Suzie Bates continued to hold the top spot, with 765 points, extending the gap between her and second-placed Dottin to 38 points. The rest of the top-five remained unchanged, with Australia captain Meg Lanning retaining the fourth position with 695 points, followed by Stafanie Taylor with just one point less. India captain Harmanpreet Kaur who missed the England series with ankle injury went down two spots to No.9, allowing New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine to climb to No. 7, followed by Australia wicket-keeper Beth Mooney. Mooney’s team-mate Alyssa Healy retained her position to round off the top ten. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenMeanwhile, England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor fell six places to No. 24, as did her team-mate Jenny Gunn who slipped to No. 61. Lauren Winfield, however, moved up eight places to No. 45. India’s Deepti Sharma moved up five places to the 71st position. But the biggest mover was England’s Sophia Dunkley, who barged into the top 100 by moving 16 places to 86th position. India’s Pooja Vastrakar went out of the top 100, tumbling 11 places to 103. There were significant changes among bowlers too. While Megan Schutt and Poonam Yadav the top two in the bowlers’ charts, Ellyse Perry, the Australia all-rounder, moved up one spot to No. 3, followed by New Zealand’s Leigh Kasperek, who was fourth after jumping two places. The biggest mover, however, was Radha Yadav. She moved up five positions and is now No. 5 in the bowlers rankings, level with South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail. However, that meant Anya Shrubsole slid two places to No. 7. Her team-mate Sophie Ecclestone also took a massive tumble, falling seven places to No. 10. Deepti Sharma was another to have a poor time of it against England, and she fell ten places to No. 24 after the latest update. However, Katherine Brunt rose 12 places and is now No. 35. The all-rounders charts were largely unchanged — Dottin still leads the charts, and Bangladesh’s Salma Khatun rounds off the top ten. However, Hayley Matthews has displaced Natalie Sciver at No. 6.last_img read more

Cracks appear in German govt over planned climate law

first_imgBerlin: Germany’s environment minister on Monday backed a European proposal to virtually eliminate man-made greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, deepening divisions within the German government over how to tackle climate change. French President Emmanuel Macron and eight either EU countries pitched the plan at a summit of European leaders last week, but Germany was a notable holdout. “I don’t think this decision is final,” said Environment Minister Svenja Schulze of the center-left Social Democrats, the junior partners in Merkel’s government. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”I think we should talk about it again. Because I think it’s very sensible to stand alongside France and work to say at the EU-level that we want to implement Paris.” The 2015 Paris climate accord, approved by almost all countries around the world, set a target of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times. Scientists say this is only possible if emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are drastically reduced in the coming decades. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsSpeaking to reporters ahead of a climate change meeting of 35 countries in Berlin, Schulze also favored the introduction of a carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use. The leader of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has instead favored expanding an EU-wide carbon trading system. A recent poll for public broadcaster ZDF found environment topped immigration as the issue Germans are most concerned about. But the survey of 1,357 phone respondents, conducted May 7-9, also found 61 per cent oppose a carbon tax on fossil fuels, even if other taxes are cut. Only 35pc were in favour, according to the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen polling agency. Despite its much-vaunted plan for an “energy transition” away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy to renewable power sources, Germany has struggled to lower its emissions in recent years, particularly in the area of transportation. Germany is set to miss its reduction target for 2020 and under EU rules it could be forced to buy billions of euros (dollars) worth of carbon credits from other countries starting in 2021. A report published Monday by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a London-based research firm, listed 43 cities around the world that are leading on environmental action. None of them are in Germany. Schulze said she wants Cabinet to pass a “strong” climate law this year. “This is about big investment decisions that affect all of society, each and every one but also industry,” she said. “We need certainty about where the journey is going.”last_img read more