As you probably already found out via social media, the 2018 EV call for the Liverpool HSR symposium is out! There are two tracks this year; you find all the detail here. As usual, we hope many young HPSR researchers and other health actors with a strong passion for health equity will apply. Spread the word in your networks and hope to see many of you in Liverpool!
This week’s short intro comes from Elena Vargas, and is titled “Tax havens & record-breaking global temperatures”.
“What do Queen Elizabeth, Bono, Shakira and Nicole Kidman have in common? Not only they’re rich and famous but all of them have also been named in the leaked Paradise Papers documents. Sounds like an ugly spin-off reality show fit for our ugly times, after the Panama Papers and other LuxLeaks. The Paradise Papers, which also involve big multinational corporations such as Nike and Apple, are providing information about offshore financial dealings of the elites in the United States and United Kingdom, countries that are well regulated presumably, but other global “elites” (what’s in a name) also pop up in the papers. This ongoing investigation reveals the secrecy and significant level of tax avoidance(/aka ”optimization”) of the wealth investment industry operating through tax havens like Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. Let’s say we all feel slightly “distressed” about it, just in time now that the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution is being commemorated.
We should probably feel even more distressed about the record-breaking global temperatures. Fortunately, the Germans will save us (together with Fiji). Earlier this week, the UN Climate Change Conference started in Bonn, Germany. This marks the 23rd Session Conference of the Parties (COP23) under the presidency of Fiji, a country afflicted by and highly vulnerable to climate change-related disasters. During the first day of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference, Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa remarked that COP23 should take steps to complete the structure of the Paris Agreement and move forward to the 2020 commitments. Ahead of the conference, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported record-breaking global and sea temperatures and CO2 concentrations, making 2017 one of the top-3 hottest years on record. Even though the US—a country responsible for a significant percentage of CO2 emissions—maintains its (rogue) decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, its delegate emphasized that the country will remain engaged in the elaboration of guidelines for the treaty’s implementation. Via Twitter, presumably. The next COP 24 presidency and event will be in Katowice, Poland, a country that has already updated COP participants on the preparations taken for next year. Also a country with a rather “interesting” (and coal-inspired) leadership these days. Anyway, we’ll be looking forward to the resulting agreements and the call for action globally and locally, especially after the discussions of climate change through a health lens that will take place on Saturday November 11th and Sunday November 12th, “The COP Presidency’s High-Level Event on Health: Health Actions for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement”.
Enjoy your reading.
The editorial team
(you find the pdf of the newsletter here: IHPn444pdf )