Bombardier Challenger 350 Jet Most Delivered in Category for Seventh Consecutive Year, Company Also Ends 2020 With Highest Total Market Share in Fourth Quarter

MONTREAL, Feb. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier announced today that its best–selling Challenger 350 aircraft was the most–delivered medium category business jet in 2020, making it the category leader for a seventh consecutive year. As detailed in the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA) annual shipment and billings report released February 24, the company also outpaced competitors by delivering 44 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2020. This accomplishment was driven by a record 16 Global 7500 business jet deliveries in that timeframe.

Bombardier's comprehensive family of business jets firmly positions it to respond to the growing interest in private aviation and the enhanced safety they provide during these exceptional times.

As more people seek to avoid crowds and interest in fractional and air charter increases, the best–selling Challenger 350 aircraft is there to take passengers where they need to be, and it continues to surpass expectations while doing so.

In 2020, Bombardier announced a firm order for 10 Challenger 350 aircraft in a transaction valued at $267 million U.S. and also marked the 350th delivery of the Challenger 350 business jet, a milestone reached after only seven years in service. The best–selling Challenger 350 aircraft now features an expanded selection of sophisticated and contemporary interior design schemes, high–speed Viasat Ka–band connectivity and a refreshed cabin management system, inspired by the industry's flagship Global 7500 business jet.

In addition to the Challenger 350 aircraft, Bombardier's Challenger 650 business jet is a masterful expression of high–end craftsmanship and functionality. With its ideal combination of range, speed and field performance capabilities, the Challenger 650 aircraft is perfectly suited for both private and specialized missions, including medevac. The Challenger 650 aircraft is in service with many governments worldwide for various special missions.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game–changing planes. Our products and services provide world–class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of approximately 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

News and information is available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Notes to Editors
Visit the Bombardier Business Aircraft website for more information on our industry–leading products and services.

Follow @Bombardierjets on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates from Bombardier Aviation.

To receive our press releases, please visit the RSS Feed section.

Bombardier, Challenger, Challenger 350, Challenger 650 and Global 7500 are either unregistered or registered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For Information
Anna Cristofaro
Bombardier
+ 1 514–855–8678
anna.cristofaro@aero.bombardier.com


By External Source
Feb 26 2021 (IPS-Partners)

 

International Women’s Day 2021

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021, IPS Inter Press Service is pleased to bring to it’s readers, opinions, views and perspectives of women leaders on the Covid19 crisis, the centrality of women’s contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.


Renewed, More Ambitious Targets of Paris Agreement Needed

As a small island developing state, Saint Lucia is disproportionately vulnerable to external economic shocks and extreme climate-related events that can instantly erase decades of its development gains. A new report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states that many countries have strengthened their commitments to the Paris Agreement by “reducing or limiting emissions by 2025 or 2030”, but called for amped-up mitigation pledges. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

As a small island developing state, Saint Lucia is disproportionately vulnerable to external economic shocks and extreme climate-related events that can instantly erase decades of its development gains. A new report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) states that many countries have strengthened their commitments to the Paris Agreement by “reducing or limiting emissions by 2025 or 2030”, but called for amped-up mitigation pledges. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

By Alison Kentish
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 26 2021 – Projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are falling “far short” of what is required to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.

That is according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which released its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) Scorecard today, Feb 26.

NDC’s are the plans each nation outlines to build resilience to climate change in areas such as mitigation, adaptation and climate financing.  Those plans are critical to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement, in particular, an urgent target of keeping global average temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

The NDC’s considered in the report makeup 40 percent of Paris Agreement signatories and account for about 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

“For limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, carbon dioxide emissions need to decrease by about 25 percent from the 2010 level by 2030 and reach net zero around 2070,” the report said. “The estimated reductions fall far short of what is required.”

The first NDCs were submitted in 2015 and require updating every 5 years, with increasingly ambitious targets for combating climate change.

The report states that many countries have strengthened their commitments to “reducing or limiting emissions by 2025 or 2030”, but called for amped-up mitigation pledges.

“Deep reductions are required for non-carbon dioxide emissions as well,” it stated, adding that the projections highlight “the need for parties to further strengthen their mitigation commitments under the Paris Agreement”.

Reporting countries registered mitigation measures in industry, agriculture and waste as priorities to achieving their targets. Energy is another pillar of mitigation with renewable energy generation seen as one of the most critical initiatives to providing clean power to populations. Clean energy and a transition to more efficient modes of transport were hallmarks of several NDC’s.

One noted difference between the old and new commitments is a focus on adaptation. There is increased attention to National Adaptation Plans, which complement the Sustainable Development Goals. Food security, disaster risk management, coastal protection and poverty reduction are listed as priority areas in adaptation.

The report also states that some of the countries which submitted renewed NDC’s are aligning their commitments to broader national policy agendas that are based on a transition to sustainable, low-carbon economies. Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean, is doing just that.

Saint Lucia submitted its first NDC’s in 2015 and its renewed pledges in January 2021. That country’s commitments are prefaced with the reminder that as a small island developing state, it is disproportionately vulnerable to external economic shocks and extreme climate-related events that can instantly erase decades of its development gains.

Saint Lucia’s Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer Annette Rattigan-Leo told IPS that the country’s renewed commitments are mitigation focused.

“Saint Lucia’s efforts remain within the energy sector, given that this sector by analysis, proves to be the highest emitter of greenhouse gases. The aim, as expressed in the updated NDC, is to reduce emissions in the energy sector by 7 percent by 2030,” she said.

Saint Lucia’s previous commitment was a 2 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. Leo said the updated NDC not only reflects increased ambition, but the country is proud of its focus on gender, children and youth.  Saint Lucia’s Gender Relations Department is developing a national gender equality policy and strategic plan, which includes environmental sustainability and climate change as priority areas. According to the report, countries are embracing gender integration to boost the effectiveness of their climate plans.

The NDC’s also explored finance and implementation. For a world still battling COVID-19, the pandemic was cited by many countries, but it might be too soon for an assessment of its impact on the NDC’s. The report stated that longer-term effects will depend on the duration of pandemic and recovery efforts.

Saint Lucia is confident of achieving its NDC’s despite the pandemic. Rattigan-Leo says with the right investments and partnerships, Saint Lucia can harness resources to sustainably support and achieve its targets.

“Economic recovery efforts around COVID-19 will require strategic partnerships and investments that focus on resilience and green recovery. As such NDC-related initiatives particularly those on renewable energy and energy efficiency are emphasised for pursuit in the next 5 years.”

The UNFCCC’s scorecard is an initial report. It is based on information from 48 NDC’s that represent 75 members of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC.

The final version is scheduled for release before the Glasgow Climate talks in November and will contain the most up-to-date information. Data and commitment from some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters are absent from this report including India and the United States. China, the top emitter, is not represented.

 


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Money Laundering: the Darker Side of the World’s Offshore Financial System

Closing loopholes that allow money laundering, corruption and tax abuse and stopping wrongdoing by bankers, accountants and lawyers are steps in transforming the global economy for the universal good

Credit: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 26 2021 – A sign outside a laundry in New York city had a frivolously flippant slogan: “We launder dirty clothes, not dirty money.”

And a 2019 movie titled “Laundromat,” based on a book ‘Secrecy World’ by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jake Bernstein, exposed the byzantine world of money laundering.

That’s the insidiously darker side of the world’s financial system – with millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains finding safety in offshore banks– a crime perpetrated on a global scale, says a High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI).

Ibrahim Mayaki, FACTI co-chair and former prime minister of Niger points out closing loopholes that allow money laundering, corruption and tax abuse and stopping wrongdoing by bankers, accountants and lawyers are steps in transforming the global economy for the universal good.


In a report released February 25, the UN panel has called on governments to agree to a Global Pact for Financial Integrity for Sustainable Development.

The panel, comprising former world leaders, central bank governors, business and civil society heads and academics, says as much as 2.7 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is laundered annually, while corporations shopping around for tax-free jurisdictions cost governments up to $600 billion a year.

At a time when billionaires’ wealth soared by 27.5 percent, even while 131 million people were pushed into poverty due to COVID-19, the report says a tenth of the world’s wealth could be hidden in offshore financial assets, preventing governments from collecting their fair share of taxes.

Recovering the annual loss to tax avoidance and evasion in Bangladesh, for example, would allow the country to expand its social safety net to 9 million more of the elderly; in Chad, it could pay for 38,000 classrooms, and in Germany, it could build 8000 wind turbines, according to the report.

Professor Kunal Sen, Director, UN University– World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), told IPS: “At a time when developing countries are facing sharp declines in tax revenues due to the economic crisis generated by the pandemic, it is imperative to find solutions to the large losses to public exchequers due to illicit financial flows”

This is a key challenge to development, as provision of crucial public services, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure, rely on states having money to spend, he pointed out.

“Global coordination of taxation policies, preferably led by the G-7 (world’s industrialized) countries, that limit tax evasion and money laundering is the need of the hour,” he noted.

James A. Paul, a former Executive Director at Global Policy Forum, told IPS the new report by the UN High Level Panel is certainly welcome, but there is reason to wonder where it will take us.

“It provides a devastating analysis of the corrupt global financial system and how the financiers undermine well-being, fairness and legitimacy”.

The report, he said, argues that the system’s architecture and rules make sustainable development (and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals) difficult, if not impossible to achieve.

“Those who have been critically following the global financial system over the past few decades will not disagree, but they will find little here that is truly new”, said Paul, author of “Of Foxes and Chickens”—Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council.

He also pointed out that “It has been clear, then, for a long time that the world’s richest families and nations are the primary beneficiaries of this system, that they have a hammerlock on politics, and that they have no intention of changing things in any fundamental way”.

In particular, the national leaders of this global corruption mafia are nationals of the United States and the United Kingdom, whose financial institutions and oligarchies are the world’s most powerful, he added.

“They have ruled the global financial system for a long time and (in spite of declarations to the contrary) they are dead-set against reforms that would increase “fairness,” “transparency,” and the other good things the High-Level Panel seeks to promote,” said Paul.

This brings us to the dilemma of the UN– and its capacity to analyze and to resolve the world’s most fundamental problems”.

However, he said the Presidents of the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council are to be congratulated for setting up this Panel and for reminding us once again how the global oligarchy is practicing corruption on a breathtaking and devastating scale.

The report’s authors are unable to go far enough, however. This is no surprise.

“For we need something more fundamental — nothing less than a roadmap towards a global democratic order, freed from the grip of the financial oligarchy and guided at last by the needs and the will of the people themselves… UN and its capacity to analyze and to resolve the world’s most fundamental problems”.

A former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a national of Ghana, once said that “billions of dollars of public funds continue to be stashed away by some African leaders — even while roads are crumbling, health systems are failing, school children have neither books nor desks nor teachers, and phones do not work.”

Dr. Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Governance, Justice & Security Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C, told IPS that aside from eroding national tax bases and diverting funds from critical public expenditure projects, tax abuse, corruption, and money laundering help fuel insecurity in today’s hyperconnected global economy by sustaining the work of criminal syndicates and international terrorists to the detriment of global security and justice.

The recommended global pact for financial integrity for sustainable development, he argued, should help extend the Financial Action Task Force’s (created in 1989 by the G7 and later joined by a few dozen countries) global reach in coordinating global anti–money laundering efforts.

In addition, more (especially non-OECD) countries should be encouraged to participate in the OECD Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in Tax Matters, which aims to increase banking transparency and decrease tax evasion worldwide.

The AEOI standard—which benefits poor and rich nations alike—makes it harder for money launderers to hide their proceeds and easier for the victims of tax evasion to recover funds.

For developing countries to fully realize the benefits of this new transparency, he said, the developed world and international institutions should recognize and help overcome the financial and capacity restraints that prevent less well-off countries from participating in a multilateral regime for AEOI.

Simultaneously, developed and developing countries should promote the transparency of corporate registries to prevent money launderers from operating behind shell companies.

Paul told IPS that NGOs, both local and international, have long been pointing out the staggering sums diverted from public treasuries by banks and financial managers, aided by corrupt politicians and systematically covered up by journalists, professors and other apologists.

The honest investigations have shown, among other things, how taxes are avoided or evaded and how the richest individuals and companies pay almost nothing in support of public projects and programs.

“This knowledge has deepened public distrust of governments and it has led us into the present crisis of global authoritarianism, but it has done little to change regulatory laws, improve the harvesting of taxes, or reduce public corruption. If anything, the trend has been moving in the opposite direction.”

Ponzio said the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other corporate social responsibility standards can also contribute to improving due diligence requirements to prevent or decrease illicit financial flows (IFFs) in different economic sectors (including financial, accounting, and legal).

He said participatory budgeting and a human rights approach to budget monitoring can shine a spotlight on whether IFFs divert government expenditure from promoting the public good.

Empowered with the right information, civil society organizations, the media, and the general public can each play significant roles in holding states, businesses, and facilitators (lawyers and accountants) to their human rights obligations.

  

Biden-Harris Administration Committed to Building Resilient Agricultural Supply Chains

The task of building resilient American supply chains amidst the current challenges is no doubt difficult but it can be achieved by focusing on healthy soils, vaccinated crops and equitable and just agricultural systems

Soil degradation: over one-third of the Corn Belt, the epicenter of American corn and soybean production, has lost its carbon-rich top soil.  Credit: Bigstock.

By Esther Ngumbi
URBANA, Illinois, Feb 26 2021 – The White House, under the Presidency of Joe Biden just released an Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains stating the country needs to have resilient, diverse and secure supply chains to ensure economic prosperity and national security. Among the acknowledged threats that can reduce the resilience of America’s supply chains include climate change and extreme weather events.

Indeed, climate change and extreme weather, all of which have become very frequent and of economic importance, can have a huge impact on the agricultural sector. This was already evident before the global pandemic.

Soil degradation is a global problem with a third of Earth’s soil considered to be degraded in part due to agriculture. Without healthy soils, that play many critical roles including storing soil carbon, resilient agriculture won’t be possible

For example, recently, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that 2020 was tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record. In the same year, the United States experienced many climate change related extremities including the Iowa derecho, a costly thunderstorm disaster, California wildfires and flooding in Michigan . These extremities have already began happening in 2021, and are expected to continue.

The move by the Biden Administration is commendable. A question that becomes central is –how does a resilient agricultural system that is resistant to climate change and extreme weather events look like? What are the pillars?  Can resiliency in today’s United States agricultural systems be achieved? Could we unleash operation warp speed to create resilient agricultural systems that are critical to meeting US food security needs?

Of course, there will be many visions and pathways to achieving resilience in agricultural sector, because agriculture and the agricultural value and supply chain is complex with many pillars and activities that are linked and interdependent. Despite the complexities involved in building resilience, there are a few fundamental and key things that must happen.

First and foremost, a resilient agricultural system must be rooted in healthy soils. Soils is the foundation of life and the base upon which we grow resilient crops. Healthy soils are necessary and a prerequisite to achieving sustainable national food security. They are also a useful resource in the fight against the worsening climate change as they absorb carbon from air and store it.

Alarmingly, soils are unhealthy and degraded.  A recently published paper reported that over one-third of the Corn Belt, the epicenter of American corn and soybean production, has lost its carbon-rich top soil.  Soil degradation is a global problem with a third of Earth’s soil considered to be degraded in part due to agriculture. Without healthy soils, that play many critical roles including storing soil carbon, resilient agriculture won’t be possible.

Secondly, resilient agricultural system must be fully vaccinated from climate change and extremities that come with a changing climate. Just like we have rolled operation warp speed to tackle COVID-19, it is important to unleash science based solutions to vaccinate our agricultural systems. From using artificial intelligence to predict climate-related disasters such as flooding, drought, and insect pests to planting climate-smart crops that can withstand disasters to using smart and intelligent systems all through the agricultural value and supply chains to ensure that agriculture and food systems stay ahead of all the challenges.

Thirdly, resilient agricultural systems must be racially inclusive, just and equitable. According to data evidence, there are fewer Black farmers, a number that has reduced from nearly 1 million farmers in 1920 to less than 50 000 farmers, because of historic discrimination, exclusion and inequities in federal agricultural policies.

It is commendable that US Senators led by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are taking the lead in changing these statistics by introducing a comprehensive bill that addresses these injustices.

Finally, resilient systems must be built in ways that allow for ways to transparently monitor and track progress made. Americans deserve transparency.

The task of building resilient American supply chains amidst the current challenges is no doubt difficult but it can be achieved by focusing on healthy soils, vaccinated crops and equitable and just agricultural systems. The time is now.

 

Dr. Esther Ngumbi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and a Senior Food Security Fellow with the Aspen Institute, New Voices.