LONDON: A 1955 Mercedes, which only exists in two copies, was sold in early May for 135 million euros, an absolute world record for a car sold at auction, RM Sotheby's announced Thursday.The 1955 Mercedes Coupé 300 SLR Uhlenhaut was sold on May 5 at a confidential auction held at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany, in cooperation between Sotheby's subsidiary for luxury cars and the manufacturer German automobile.At a price of 135 million euros, this Mercedes was sold almost triple the previous record held since 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold in 2018 by RM Sotheby's for more than 48 million dollars (45 million euros) .In addition, the Mercedes "300 SLR is now in the top 10 of the most expensive objects ever sold at auction", boasted RM Sotheby's in a press release published Thursday in London and passed on to New York by the parent company Sotheby's which is holding this week its spring auction for works of art.In fact, according to a ranking established by AFP of works of art sold at auction in recent years, mainly in New York, the absolute record is held by Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", sold in November 2017 for 450 .3 million by Christie's in New York.Next comes the "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" by Andy Warhol, which sold for $195 million at Christie's on May 9, becoming the most expensive 20th century work of art ever sold at public auction.For works from the 20th century, "The Women of Algiers (version 0)" by Pablo Picasso (179.4 million dollars in May 2015) and the "Nu reclining" by Amedeo Modigliani (170.4 million in November 2015 ), were both sold at Christie's.According to this ranking of works of art sold at auction for more than 100 million dollars, the Mercedes sold on May 5 by RM Sotheby's and qualified as "the most beautiful car in the world" thus ranks in 6th or 7th place.The car, which was owned, like the second example, by Mercedes-Benz, was sold to a private collector and the proceeds from the sale "will be used to set up an international + Mercedes-Benz fund + for scholarships and training for research for young people in environmental science and decarbonization," according to RM Sotheby's.https://arab.news/zv3jqKONIGSWINTER: The G7 countries promised on Friday to mobilize 19.8 billion (18.7 billion euros) to support Ukraine's finances badly affected by the Russian offensive, according to their statement after the meeting. a meeting of finance ministers in Germany."In 2022, we are mobilizing $19.8 billion in budget support, including $9.5 billion in recent commitments (...) to help Ukraine close its financial gap and enable the continuity of basic services to the Ukrainian people", according to this joint statement.The document does not specify the contribution of each country and international organization to the total envelope, nor the proportion of loans and direct aid.Of the sum of 19.8 billion dollars, the share of 9.5 billion was secured at the end of the discussions which were held for two days between the great fundraisers of the G7 gathered near Bonn (west)"Ukraine's liquidity is guaranteed for the near future," the German finance minister said during a press conference.PARIS: Renewable energies, climate and energy efficiency are the watchwords of Louis Boisgibault, professor at the International School of Business in Sfax.He has been working on these questions since the beginning of his career, first in the private sector, for large groups such as the French giant Engie, then in higher education.Louis Boisgibault agreed to respond to Arab News in French on one of his favorite subjects, the energy transition in Tunisia.This country, located in northeast Africa, has meager hydrocarbon reserves, unlike its Algerian neighbour.Tunisia's oil and gas reserves are estimated at 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, “therefore a small production”, explains Louis Boisgibault, “but which exists”.These limited resources do not allow the country to be self-sufficient, forcing it to resort to imports to meet its energy needs.Unrealized ambitionsAs early as 1985, recounts Mr. Boisgibault, Tunisia created its own national energy management agency, “displaying a proactive policy in terms of energy efficiency”, he believes.This start, as early as it was promising, was however not really followed up.A trend that has continued until recent times: in 2008, within the framework of the Mediterranean Solar Plan (aiming to reduce the energy dependence of the signatory countries), Tunisia had undertaken to ensure that 12% of its electricity production comes from renewable energies by 2020. Today, however, this figure is struggling to reach 5%, explains Louis Boisgibault, who admits to being "sorry" that the Tunisian energy policy "did not develop more quickly".The trend remains: in 2014, a new Constitution mentions climate and environmental issues for the first time.At COP21, Tunisia also committed to reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.So much good will, but with few results.This inaction, Mr. Boisgibault explains in particular by the political instability which reigns in the country "since the fall of Ben Ali in 2011".The energy transition is necessarily a long-term process that requires a certain continuity on the part of decision-makers.The uncertainty that reigns in the country is also hampering investment provided by the private sector, already cooled by the terrorist attacks of 2015. The very recent dissolution of the Tunisian Parliament decided by President Kaïs Saïed confirms this situation.Added to this is “a complex legal and administrative context” which further complicates the implementation of ambitious policies to reduce carbon emissions.Tunisia would, however, benefit from such reforms.A significant part of its territory (more than 33%) is in fact covered by the Sahara desert, offering ideal conditions for the development of local solar energy production.The energy sector is currently the largest emitter of CO2 in the country.The emissions generated contribute to the acceleration of global warming, which risks, according to the expert, accentuating the erosion of the Tunisian coasts and the progression of soil desertification.The impact of the latter on Tunisian agriculture would be "dramatic if this warming were too great", warns Louis Boisgibault, in a country which already imports a significant quantity of cereals.The increase in commodity prices linked to the coronavirus epidemic and the war in Ukraine further reinforces the idea of aiming for a certain self-sufficiency.“We realize that local production is important, and this is also true for electricity production,” he summarizes.The Tunisian government seems to have fully realized this.The executive is now aiming for the threshold of 30% of its energy production, which must come from renewable sources by 2030. Yet another empty ambition?Louis Boisgibault remains optimistic: “A Council of Ministers at the end of 2021 was entirely devoted to renewable energies, during which the construction of five solar power plants was decided”, he rejoices."In the 2030 objective, solar represents two thirds (wind, one third), and it will necessarily develop."The delay taken by the country in terms of energy transition could also allow it to benefit from the experiences of its neighbors such as Morocco, a good student in this area.Tunisia would thus avoid repeating “the same mistakes” and it could acquire “cheaper equipment” as the technologies become more accessible.Optimism is therefore in order for Louis Boisgibault, who intends “at his small level” to train Tunisian youth, already aware of climate issues, to redefine the energy production of tomorrow.BEIJING: An "unfounded" decision taken under the "pretext" of national security: China on Friday castigated the exclusion from the 5G network in Canada of its telecom giants ZTE and Huawei, the latter group denouncing a "political decision".Beijing-Ottawa relations have notoriously deteriorated since 2018 with the arrest in Canada, at the request of the United States, of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, who has since returned to China.In a context of Sino-American rivalry, Washington has for its part greatly increased the pressure against the Chinese gems of tech in recent years.Huawei is accused by the United States of posing a danger to national security due to potential and unproven links with Chinese intelligence services, which the company denies.Washington urges its allies to give up ZTE and especially Huawei to equip their 5G networks, arguing that Beijing could use these firms to monitor a country's communications and data traffic.After years of dithering, Canada decided on Thursday to formally ban the two groups from its 5G network."We are announcing our intention to ban Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada's telecommunications systems," said Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne."This follows a full review by our security agencies and in consultation with our closest allies," he told a news conference.“Disappointed” Beijing expressed its dissatisfaction on Friday."Despite the absence of any conclusive evidence, Canada has excluded these Chinese companies from the Canadian market using the pretext of alleged security risks, which are baseless," said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the diplomacy. Chinese."China strongly opposes" this decision, he added to the press, assuring that his country would take "all necessary measures" to defend Chinese companies.Huawei Canada, for its part, said it was "disappointed" by this "regrettable political decision", according to a press release sent to AFP.In 13 years of activity of the group in the country, the company's equipment has been "closely examined" by the Canadian services and "there have been no security incidents", underlines the company."We will do everything in our power to protect the legitimate rights and interests of our customers, our partners and ourselves."Canada already prohibited Huawei from participating in government tenders for basic network equipment, such as routers.The United States is leading the campaign against Huawei, with the spectacular banishment of the Chinese group by US President Donald Trump in May 2019.Washington, which no longer has a major telecom equipment manufacturer in mobile networks, has since openly encouraged its European partners to do the same.Hostage Diplomacy Other Canadian allies have followed the United States' lead, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and Sweden.France, for its part, has chosen to restrict the operating authorizations of operators who use Huawei technologies.5G technology, whose deployment is accelerating around the world, offers very high-speed Internet access and is set to play a key role for connected objects.5G "represents a major opportunity for competition and growth" but "also entails risks", said Canadian Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino on Thursday."There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities" in telecommunications networks, he told reporters.Diplomatic relations between China and Canada soured at the end of 2018 with the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive and daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecom group.This marked the start of a major crisis between the two countries called "hostage diplomacy", with the parallel detention in China of two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor.After nearly three years of proceedings, Meng Wanzhou was finally released at the end of September 2021 and returned to China.The two Canadians were later released.