European Union member states must promote “collective” pension savings vehicles, the European Commission has urged.Releasing its annual growth survey, the European executive also praised efforts by a number of countries in reforming their first-pillar pension systems, arguing that a majority of member states had amended systems to “better withstand” the impact of increased longevity.It noted, however, that the reforms could result in further “challenges” and insisted that, to ensure the success and continued support of state pension reforms, steps needed to be taken to maintain retirement income levels, extend working lives or provide other sources of income through “complementary” pension savings vehicles.“Member states,” the report continues, “need to support the development of collective and individual pension plans to complement public pension schemes, including by removing obstacles at European level.” Social partners, it says, also have an important role to play, depending on the circumstances.The reference to collective and individual pension plans is likely to be an attempt to present both second and third-pillar pension saving as viable ways of increasing income on retirement.Olivier Guersent, the most senior civil servant within the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union directorate general, recently suggested the pan-European pension product developed by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) could play an important role in developing pension saving where occupational systems were not in place.At the same event, EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino suggested there was space for a pan-European occupational defined contribution system.The Commission’s report comes only a few months after social affairs commissioner Marianne Thyssen argued in favour of greater supplementary savings, while acknowledging the “limited” ability of many households to contribute to such systems.
Nick Kameroff testifies at a public meeting and hearing in Aniak on January 17. State regulators traveled to Aniak, Bethel, and Anchorage to discuss permits for the Donlin Gold Mine. (Courtesy of Dave Cannon)State regulators met with the public in Anchorage last Friday to discuss the permits for the proposed Donlin Gold Mine. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has released two draft permits that tackle one of the mine’s thorniest issues: how the company plans to dispose of chemicals like arsenic next to a river of subsistence fishermen. Meetings were held in Aniak and Bethel earlier.The Donlin Gold Mine is going to produce a lot of trash. It’ll suck thousands of gallons of water per minute out of the ground and use it, along with a chemical process involving cyanide, to help strip microscopic flecks of gold out of the rock. That leaves a lot of ground-up rock behind. According to DEC engineer Tim Pilon, the mine will generate a literal mountain of it.“Where it’s a valley now?” Pilon asked. “They’re going to turn it into a hill.”Contaminated water will drain from the mine pit or seep from its tailings, some of it tinged with chemicals like arsenic. And all of that waste needs somewhere to go.According to the DEC’s draft permits, some of that waste is going to pour into Crooked Creek, a nearby waterway that teems with salmon in the summer. At peak production the Donlin Gold Mine will dump up to 4,500 gallons of wastewater a minute into the creek – though it would have to be treated first.Over the past two weeks, the DEC has presented the permits at public meetings in Bethel and Aniak, where community members depend on the Kuskokwim River for their food. Many residents did not trust the plan put forth by the state for the mine.“We are playing with our lives here,” Evon Waska said at the Bethel meeting. “They depend on the Kuskokwim River.”Kathy Hanson of Bethel agreed.“I don’t see why we have to take a risk with our land so that someone else gets to make money,” Hanson said.According to DEC engineer Allan Nakanishi, the Donlin Gold Mine’s water treatment system would be “world class.” The DEC is imposing strict limits on the levels of certain chemicals, like arsenic, that the facility can release.“Ten molecules out of a billion would be arsenic, and the rest would be water,” Nakanishi said. “That’s how low those values are.”Waste that’s too dangerous to discharge will be contained on site. Any tailings exposed to the mine’s cyanide, for example, will be funneled into a large pond lined with thick plastic and then heavily monitored. Many local residents who spoke were skeptical about the monitoring, fearing the Donlin Gold Mine will be mostly “self-monitored” – in other words, regulating itself.Aniak resident Dave Cannon is a former fish biologist. He doesn’t trust Donlin Gold to self-regulate and thinks an accident could inevitably happen. He also suspects the permitting process is deliberately confusing.“It’s been overwhelming for me and I’m a professional biologist, to be honest with you,” Cannon said. “The draft of the Environmental Impact Statement stood what, 14, 15 inches high?”Other community members put more faith in the company. Carl Morgan is a former state senator who’s also from Aniak. He used to work for Donlin Gold and showed up to our interview wearing the company’s jacket. He thinks the mine is worth the risk.“We want the strictest regulation with Donlin,” Morgan said. “Yes, mother nature might do something, an earthquake or something. We can’t guarantee anything with mother nature.”But Morgan says unemployment in Aniak is severe.“There’s nothing better than a paycheck instead of a handout,” Morgan said. “People who are against a mine, they don’t see that.”The mine still has a long way to go before it’s authorized; these are just two of dozens of permits that Donlin Gold needs. The DEC is holding its final public meeting today, but will accept written public comments on the permits until February 13.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Invest In 5-Minute Battery Charge Startup Enevate “Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, today announced a new investment in PowerShare, an electric vehicle (EV) charging platform startup based in China. PowerShare provides an online platform that connects EV drivers, charge point operators and power suppliers to streamline the charging experience. It offers a cloud-based system, enabling suppliers to monitor the demand from vehicles with the supply capacity of the grid and drivers to find available charging stations.”François Dossa, Alliance Global Vice President, Ventures and Open Innovation, said:“PowerShare’s expertise fits with the Alliance’s objective to maintain our leadership in vehicle electrification. A solid infrastructure network must be established to accelerate the deployment of EV and new mobility services, and we expect Powershare’s technology to help make that happen. Additionally, PowerShare’s base in China aligns with our strong focus on the market as a strategic hub.”Ethan Zhu, founder and Chief Executive Officer of PowerShare added:“As a technology-based start-up with a focus on electric vehicle charging, PowerShare has accumulated rich experiences in this field through in-depth cooperation with domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers, charging operators and charging pile manufacturers over the past four years. This investment from Alliance Ventures will enable us to go farther and faster in expanding markets, developing core technologies, and exploring new business models in the global e-Mobility business. We look forward to working closely with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi as PowerShare grows.” Ionic Materials Raises $65 Million For Revolutionary Polymer Electrolyte Source: Electric Vehicle News PowerShare grows in power. Who’s next to invest?Alliance Ventures, the venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, announced investment in PowerShare – the charging platform startup based in China, which recently attracted also BP.PowerShare is kind of similar to ChargePoint in North America. The online platform connects EV drivers, charge point operators and power suppliers. Because of its strong position in China and the Alliance’s ambitions, investment in a charging partner for the Chinese market was a reasonable decision. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.See Also Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 19, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Since 2010 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Sold 725,000 EVs