Biden’s hopes fall short in G7 communique

Despite expectations in some quarters that the Americans would stamp their world view and priorities on the G7, it is clear from how the communique deals with Russia and China that the European concern for strategic autonomy was influential in its drafting. President Biden’s hopes for a strong position against China did not materialise as Russia received greater attention.

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Behaviour, the pandemic, and climate change

The behavioural changes necessary to bring about the transition to a zero carbon economy will be far-reaching, bearing on what people eat, how they work, how they travel, the recreations they pursue, and where they live. Will governments be able to rely on the go-to tools of public policy – rational choice theory and more recently behavioural economics, with its so-called ‘nudge’ techniques, to bring about the necessary changes?

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Once was a hegemon: Australia and the decline of the US

Australia’s Indo-Pacific obsession hides a radical global geopolitical shift, and denies the reality that US hegemony has passed a tipping point. Increasingly, the decisive great power actor(s) in any situation will be context specific, with delineation of spheres of influence and shifting balance of power arrangements requiring Australia to be nimble, smart, and independent.

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Warriors, war and Mike Pezzullo’s ANZAC Day message

What are the ‘drums of war’ that senior Australian public servant, Michael Pezzullo, can hear? His words have been understood as echoing anti-China warmongering found among some commentators and hinting strongly at the current hysteria around Taiwan. So how did the Australian government deal with a senior public servant stepping into the political limelight in this way?

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Democracy militant: strategic autonomy and Europe’s lessons for Australia

The Europeans won’t join with the like-minded allies massing behind America’s banner of democracy militant. While they will add theirs to other voices standing up for human rights, international laws and norms, and multilateralism, the EU won’t follow Biden’s clarion call into an all out multi-spectrum confrontation with China. Is there a lesson here for Australia?

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What America’s vaccination campaign proves to the world

Vaccine nationalism is small-minded, self-centered, and ultimately self-defeating, because COVID-19 will not cease to be a problem until no one has it. This is the moment to think big, the moment for generosity and big ideas. When a majority of American adults will have had their first dose of a vaccine, what if the US then begins to pivot from mass-vaccinating its own citizens to mass-vaccinating the rest of the world?

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The US has the power to tamp down coronavirus variants, if it’s willing to use it

With vaccine manufacturers not able to meet the urgent health needs of the global pandemic, it is argued that the US should transfer technological know-how and facilitate the setting up of mRNA vaccine production lines around the world. This, it is suggested, would save lives, revive economies, protect Americans from both the risk of variants and new threats, and restore the U.S. position as a reliable and trustworthy partner while advancing global health security and diplomacy.

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Australia is at a crossroads in the global hydrogen race – and one path looks risky

Analysis in new report from the Australian National University’s Centre for Climate & Energy Policy shows that producing hydrogen from fossil fuels carries significant risks, and is likely to be incompatible with decarbonisation objectives. These findings have big implications as Australia looks to become a ‘hydrogen superpower’.

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