The Green Transition: South Korea and Japan follow UK Pledge to Work Towards Carbon Neutrality by 2050

The South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, has formally pledged that the country will become carbon neutral by 2050. This commitment to achieving net-zero emissions within the next 30 years is not an unprecedented step, but is in line with recent global efforts to tackle climate change.  

Major world economies have now vowed to end their dependence on coal and replace it with other forms of renewable resources as part of their Green New Deal, which involves a shift towards renewable energy and energy storage systems, as well as low-carbon energy systems. In 2019, the European Union set itself a similar target, with EU leaders agreeing to make their then 28 member states carbon neutral by 2050. Japan quickly followed suit with Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga making an ambitious pledge to accelerate the country’s global warming targets. China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, has promised to become carbon neutral by 2060, and vowed to begin cutting its emissions within the next ten years. It must not be underestimated how bold and ambitious these targets actually are. 

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Tales of a Pandemic: Migrants, Dissidents and the State

With the Covid-19 vaccine(s) seemingly on the horizon, it is important to reflect upon this period of acute stress and paranoia with regards to national politics. India, as far as domestic political discourse is concerned, has declared itself the champion of lockdowns and preventive measures.

While the world was grappling with the monumental failures of the American government pertaining to healthcare and the oppression of its own people, many aspects of the Indian lockdown flew under the radar, barely questioned by even the most vehement critics of the Indian government, out of fear, reservation, or bewilderment. It has been observed for over six years now that the current government exercises something of a blitzkrieg in the announcement and implementation of its policies. This suddenness is, indeed, an extremely deliberate political strategy that incapacitates any thought of opposition. This is evident in one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent speeches where he remarked how people in other countries resisted lockdown measures, but the Indian people immediately fell in line. What the Prime Minister leaves out in his speech, however, was the manner in which the citizens of India were confronted with the lockdown. 

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A Pandemic in itself? The Mental Health Crisis of Covid-19

The Covid-19 crisis, which has rapidly spread across the globe, has now exceeded 50 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and more than 1.2 million deaths. This pandemic has not been selective in who it targets, but rather, has had an unprecedented effect on the lives of almost every single human being.  

As the UK exits its second national lockdown, complaints have repeatedly been raised about the harmful consequences of a singular focus on the virus, with people questioning why the all-important side effects of a lockdown have not received the same attention. Though the protection of the physical health of individuals remains a priority of most governments, there are accompanying side-effects of a lockdown which can also be disastrous and need to be acknowledged. One such side effect is the impact that the pandemic has had on the mental deterioration of young adults. Based on these findings, I will consider some policy and practice recommendations which can help governments, schools and universities to better address the mental challenges facing young people today. 

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The European Union and the future of post-Covid multilateralism

The novel coronavirus pandemic has already sparked much speculation on how the international order as we know it will undergo profound changes, with suggestions that it will forever be divided between what happened BC (before coronavirus) and AC (after coronavirus). If some lament, others cheer and others are not yet willing to accept the end of the liberal international order, yet few would neglect that a return to the past is unlikely. The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing dynamics from protectionism and nationalism to great power politics and ideological competition. While this definitely means that the health crisis has highlighted the deep flaws of our current multilateral system, it has simultaneously exposed the world’s tremendous need for an international system of collective problem solving, of which, this article argues, the EU should be at the forefront. 

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The unrelenting onslaught on the Rohingya: A COVID19 Reality

The onslaught of the COVID19 pandemic has brought upon us a troubling year. The potency of the virus has seen the health systems around the world fall under immense pressure. Additionally, the imposition of various restrictions on social and economic activities in order to contain the spread of the virus, have consequently exacerbated the misery of vulnerable groups worldwide. The bereft refugees are inherently a part of these groups and stand defenseless in what one might affirm as the greatest health emergency in over a century. The Rohingya are, as labelled by the international community, the most persecuted minority on earth and these victims of neglect stand on the crossroads of survival as the pandemic aggravates their plight. 

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Can mining corporations promote socio-economic development in Peru?

For centuries, mining has been an important economic activity for the generation of wealth in Peru. Since the mid-2000s, the commodity boom – which involved the rise of metal prices at a global level – has enhanced the relevance of mining activities within the national economy, representing about 15% of the annual GDP. This has translated to an average 5.5% economic growth rate during these last two decades. Rather than facing the resource trap – whereby countries that depend on an abundance of natural resources may experience economic contraction due to international market price volatility – Peru took advantage of the favourable economic conditions. It partly used that wealth to foster sustainable development and improve living standards around mining areas. However, the socioeconomic benefits, such as “reducing poverty in half and improving income distribution” have been limited mainly because of the government’s systemic mismanagement of resources. The continuous growth of the informal economy and the rise of illicit economic activity, such as the illegal extraction and export of gold, the below-standards working conditions, and the impairing of water quality in rivers near mining areas, has demonstrated the government apparatus’ inability to adapt and respond with effective measures to ensure wealth redistribution and sustainability. 

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender-Based Violence

Recently, new research is being published which outlines the various ways in which inequalities that were already present in society are being reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, gender-based inequality which can lead to gender-based violence has been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. This article will discuss the extent of the problem in the UK, namely how much the recurrence of gender-based violence has increased over the lockdown period from March 2020 to June 2020. Moreover, the article will touch on the intersection of inequalities that leave certain groups of women more at risk than others. It is important to note, however, that this is not to say that gender-based violence is a problem that only women face. However, for the sake of space, this article will focus primarily on violence against women. 

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Introducing KTT: Covid-19 Debate Review

Hi there! We are the Policy Centre for European Affairs here at King’s Think Tank. For everyone at KTT – whether you are a fresher or returner, whether currently in London or studying remotely from abroad – the first few weeks of this semester have been tumultuous and certainly very different from what we are all used to. That’s why at KTT we strive to maintain our high academic standards and be a constant in this otherwise so very chaotic time. We have also had to adapt and our first event was our attempt to merge our usually so busy socials and our demanding academic events into one online get-to-know-us session. 

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Cybercrime and COVID-19: an unfortunate partnership

Rising cybercrime is one of the countless ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and similarly to the spread of the virus, it is the wider population that can help mitigate the impact of such crime. COVID-19 related cybercrime has much less to do with hooded teens slouched over RGB keyboards and more with targeted exploitation of our ever-changing vulnerabilities as the global pandemic spreads.

While the romanticized notion of a mastermind hacker has never held true outside of Hollywood, the fact that cybercrime has risen significantly since the onset of the pandemic is very much real. Many are now looking at ways to solve this issue especially when there is no single body held accountable.

The repercussions of COVID-19 on the state of worldwide cybersecurity, shows it is necessary to properly educate the wider population on contemporary cyber risks.

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Migration and pandemics: an Immiscible Mix

 In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been widely reported that marginalised groups in societies have been disproportionately impacted by the outbreak. Among those who are likely to suffer greater consequences the migrant communities across the world. 

Migrants endure the consequences of the pandemic to a greater extent when compared to other groups – such as natives – for various reasons. Firstly, migrants often suffer from unequal access to basic services such as healthcare. This is more common for those on short-term visas or in irregular situations. In situations where migrants are granted access to healthcare services in the host nation, they remain constrained due to the lack of linguistic diversity in service provision, xenophobia, and limited knowledge of the host country. 

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