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Queensland transition to renewables would generate almost 10,000 jobs, analysis shows

Queensland transition to renewables would generate almost 10,000 jobs, analysis shows

Queensland has the potential to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources in a 15-year transition away from fossil fuels that would generate almost 10,000 jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council.

Almost 11,000 ongoing jobs would then operate and maintain a suite of energy sources either existing or proposed in the state, including wind and solar and farms, hydro plants and battery projects.

The QCC analysis is timed to energise the state’s election campaign and point candidates and leaders to the huge potential in renewables in the sunshine state.

Queensland’s environment minister, Leeanne Enoch, told an environment forum that a re-elected Palaszczuk government would develop a climate action plan to set out how the state would meet its targets on lowering greenhouse gas emissions up to 2030.

Related: Net zero emissions target for Australia could launch $63bn investment boom

The state government has targets to cut emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 and have half of the state’s electricity generated from renewables by the same year. The government aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Guardian Australia has been told by sources familiar with the matter that work on an expected green paper that would have laid out the government’s plans to reach the 2050 target has stopped, and is likely to have been shelved.

Tristan Edis, a renewable energy analyst who was commissioned by QCC to look at existing and planned renewable projects, said the state had “world-class” opportunities in renewables simply because of the amount of sunshine and land available.

“What we see here is that maybe Queenslanders have not been told that they have plenty of potential to generate enough electricity for what they can consume, and then more,” he said. “We really have to start planning out the infrastructure

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Americans need to separate health insurance from our jobs

Americans need to separate health insurance from our jobs

If we want to radically improve insurance and health care in our country to ensure that every American receives the care they need, we have to be bold. And that begins with divorcing insurance from where we work.



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Not only would that improve the choices of consumers, but it would also help lower costs and provide more options for people who aren’t covered in the current system. That would empower individuals to choose their health plans according to their needs.

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As of March 2019, the U.S. Census estimates that 91% of the population had health insurance. Nearly one third receive coverage from government health insurance, whether Medicare, Medicaid or state employees. Left out are approximately 29.9 million Americans without health insurance — public, private or otherwise.

The number of uninsured is an important metric because it is the target group for most substantial health insurance reforms of the past decade, including Obamacare at the federal level and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility at the state level, both problematic in their own right.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 45% of the uninsured say the cost is too high, while 31% of the uninsured lost their coverage because they made too much money for Medicaid or they changed employers.

The single largest category of the insured in our country is those who receive insurance through their jobs, approximately 54%. Why is that?

Since 1973, the federal government provided incentives to employers who set up Health Maintenance Organizations for their employees. Since then, our health insurance market has pivoted to match having a job with health insurance. Incentives to employers to cover health care for their employees is good policy on its face, but it has led to unforeseen economic consequences.

Employee

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Underground insulin exchanges emerge as workers lose jobs amid pandemic, insurance co-pays fall short

Underground insulin exchanges emerge as workers lose jobs amid pandemic, insurance co-pays fall short

DENVER — D.j. Mattern had her Type 1 diabetes under control until COVID-19’s economic upheaval cost her husband his hotel maintenance job and their health coverage. The 42-year-old Denver woman suddenly faced insulin’s exorbitant list price — anywhere from $125 to $450 per vial — just as their household income shrank.

She scrounged extra insulin from friends, and her doctor gave her a couple of samples. But, as she rationed her supplies, her blood sugar rose so high that her glucose monitor couldn’t even register a number. In June, she was hospitalized.

“My blood was too acidic. My system was shutting down. My digestive tract was paralyzed,” Mattern said, after three weeks in the hospital. “I was almost near death.”

So she turned to a growing underground network of people with diabetes who share extra insulin when they have it, free of charge. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, many thought, after Colorado last year became the first of 12 states — including Illinois — to put a cap on the co-payments that some insurers can charge consumers for insulin.

But, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused people to lose their jobs and health insurance, demand for insulin sharing has skyrocketed. Many who once had good insurance are now realizing the $100 cap for a 30-day supply is just a partial solution, applying only to state-regulated health plans.

It does nothing for the majority of people with employer-sponsored plans or those without insurance coverage. According to the Colorado chapter of Type 1 International, an insulin access advocacy group, only 3% of patients with Type 1 diabetes under 65 could benefit from the cap.

Such laws, often backed by pharmaceutical companies, give the impression things are improving, said Colorado chapter leader Martha Bierut. “But the reality is we have a

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India needs to revive jobs that were lost to coronavirus pandemic

India needs to revive jobs that were lost to coronavirus pandemic

SINGAPORE — India needs to restore purchasing power in rural and urban areas for growth to pick up again, an economist said Monday.

To do that, New Delhi has to revive jobs that were lost due to the pandemic through both an existing rural employment guarantee scheme and by introducing a similar program in urban areas where work has dried up, Arun Kumar, an expert on India’s informal economy, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

“What the government should do really is that the large number of people who’ve lost work, it needs to revive that,” he said

“So therefore it needs to pump in purchasing power into the rural areas, through the rural employment guarantee scheme, and start an urban guarantee scheme because a lot of people who are returning to urban areas are also not finding work,” he said, adding that the services sector is not carrying the same amount of economic weight as before the pandemic.

“Unless the demand is put into the economy, (growth is) not going to really pick up even if you allow industries to reopen,” he said. Kumar also explained that consumer confidence is likely to remain low due to lingering uncertainty as the festive season approaches.

During festive seasons, Indians typically gather in large crowds at places of worships and at shopping malls, especially during Christmas. India now has reported more than 7.1 million cases of coronavirus and over 109,000 people have died. While the number of daily reported cases have recently declined from September highs, there are worries that the figure could jump during the festive period.

The unemployment rate in India was about 6.7% in September, down from the April high of 23.5%, according to data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.

Green shoots emerging

For the three months from April

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Brexit endgame, UK jobs data and IMF World Economic Outlook

Brexit endgame, UK jobs data and IMF World Economic Outlook

Coronavirus and the possibility of second lockdowns is sure to give markets the jitters. Photo: Getty
Coronavirus and the possibility of second lockdowns is sure to give markets the jitters. Photo: Getty

Markets will be steered by coronavirus infection rates and whether fresh data will show a resurgent impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.

Meanwhile, investors will also eye the politics and stimulus talks in the run up to the US presidential election.

All focus will be on the closely followed International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook report, with expectations of a modest upgrade in 2020 figures to -4.9% and +5.4% in 2021.

“While we may see a modest upgrade to the 2020 number, expect much focus on the downside risk to the 2021 figure based on second wave challenges. A concerted push for fresh fiscal stimulus from central bank speakers looks likely too,” analysts at ING said.

On Tuesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will release its latest analysis of the UK economy — it could be tough reading for a government trying to address the twin challenges of coroanvirus and Brexit. 

There is another “special” Apple (AAPL) event on Tuesday, the last one in September saw the tech giant delay the release of the iPhone 12 after the coronavirus pandemic slowed production. There are rumours the flagship smartphone will come in four different sizes and that Apple will release new over the head headphones.

Elsewhere: September trade balance for the second-largest economy, China is due on Tuesday. The country is the world’s largest importer of minerals so the perception of the nation’s health often influences commodity prices. Watchers will also focus on vehicle sales, credit and money supply data to assess the pace of economic recovery.

Other weekend developments markets will also digest:

UK: Brexit deal deadline, unemployment data and more COVID-19

So is the Brexit endgame really in sight? The EU summit on 15 and 16 October will evaluate the progress. . Photo: Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP via Getty
So is the Brexit endgame really in
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