LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s green credentials have received a timely shot in the arm. The UK courts’ nixing of plans for a third runway at London’s Heathrow airport affirms the importance of carbon dioxide emissions in major investment decisions. It has also taken a tricky decision off Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plate, and patched up his credibility as ringmaster at a critical climate summit in November.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Like the pharaohs who preceded him millennia ago, Hosni Mubarak valued stability and continuity above all else. That obsession ultimately proved the undoing of the Egyptian strongman, who died on Tuesday aged 91. Had he been bolder on currency and economic reforms, the public anger that exploded during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising might have dissipated. Egypt’s current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seems to have learned from Mubarak’s mistakes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alstom is taking a second-class route around China. After Brussels blocked its preferred coupling with the rail unit of Germany’s Siemens, the French locomotive maker is paying 7.5 billion euros for the rival business of Canada’s Bombardier. Given the dominance of China’s CRRC, staying single was not an option. And the chances of another red light from Europe’s antitrust controllers should be lower.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Finland’s Kone may have a sharp private equity-shaped elbow to deploy in the final rush for Thyssenkrupp’s lifts. The world’s third largest elevator operator could sweeten its 17 billion euro offer for its German rival by waiving the need for prior antitrust approval, a person familiar with the situation told Breakingviews. That would open the doors to lots of future headaches with regulators, but would at least take its bid several floors clear of the competition.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary’s big mouth may be coming back to bite him. Britain’s advertising watchdog has called out the budget carrier over its claims to be Europe’s greenest airline. That’s only true because it has newer planes and crams in more people. In absolute terms, it’s a massive polluter. Yet the group’s juicy margins mean it doesn’t need to be a laggard in fighting climate change.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - At least Britain consulted the experts over Huawei Technologies. Government ministers who dismissed the warnings of specialists about leaving the European Union were more receptive to scientific opinion when deciding on Tuesday to give the Chinese company limited access to the United Kingdom’s superfast 5G telecom networks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s measured compromise gives cover to other European countries navigating the tricky path between Washington and Beijing.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - João Lourenço’s tricky standoff with Africa’s richest woman just went global. Leaked documents on Sunday brought international scrutiny to the $2 billion business empire of Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former leader José Eduardo dos Santos. But the current Angolan president doesn’t necessarily have a free hand to press home his advantage.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe’s airlines are flying into a carbon cloud. New European Commission boss Ursula von der Leyen’s continental Green New Deal puts the sector firmly in the cross hairs. Her most obvious ammunition is removing the free rides airlines get from fuel tax and emissions credits. A bigger threat to the industry, though, comes from Greta Thunberg.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - British police have given Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg a not-so-subtle reminder about retirement. Their announcement of an investigation into possible bribery at the commodity giant came just two days after the 62-year-old said he could – stress could – stand down next year. Legal headaches on both sides of the Atlantic and a sinking share price may help him make up his mind.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - EasyJet has discovered a low-cost way to offset Greta Thunberg. The Swedish environmental activist is trying to make flying shameful. Now the British budget carrier will spend 25 million pounds a year to compensate for its carbon dioxide emissions. That’s less green than it sounds.