Does the U.S.-China climate statement mean real cooperation ahead?
On Earth Day, 40 world leaders will gather virtually for President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, following Climate Envoy John F. Kerry’s trip to China last week and the release of the first U.S.-China joint climate statement in more than four years. In short, China’s near-term goals for 2025 and 2030 might not be enough to achieve its own 2060 carbon neutrality goal — while the 2060 goal may not be ambitious enough to achieve a global climate stabilization pathway that would restrict warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. That’s why the joint statement signaling that China will revisit these near-term goals, and clarify its long-term carbon neutrality strategy, could be quite significant. As we saw at COP15 in Copenhagen, damaged U.S.-China relations can disrupt the entire process; U.S. and Chinese negotiators found themselves disagreeing publicly over a variety of issues, ranging from financial support for developing countries to the measurement, reporting and verification of emissions inventories. In contrast, a strong U.S.-China foundation played a critical role in the ultimate success of the Paris agreement at COP21. This will be particularly important this year in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland — which, as Kerry notes, may be “the last best opportunity we have to get real and serious” about climate change.
Climate: Are major emitters ambitious enough?
The heat is on for the world’s biggest emitters to increase their climate targets. Some have upped their goals, but how far do they go? China is the largest carbon emitter globally. But it also has the world’s largest population. China’s annual per capita emissions are growing, and at 7 tons they are already higher than the roughly 5-ton global average. As the world’s top manufacturing nation and the largest exporter of goods, embedded emissions — CO2 embedded in exported goods — are a big issue for China. Because CO2 emissions are generally measured by the amount a country directly emits, nations can reduce their emissions by outsourcing carbon-emitting production abroad to places like China. A history of heavy dependence on burning coal for energy has made China the largest carbon emitter globally. However, China also benefits from this means of emissions measuring. While it has cut the share of coal in its own energy mix, it invests heavily in coal-fired power projects around the world. But China has made climate promises, aiming to bring emissions to a peak by “around 2030″ and further reduce its use of fossil fuels in the next decade. Progress in reducing air pollution also offers hope that the leading CO2 contributor could achieve a shift towards climate protection in future. Chinese leader Xi Jinping shocked the international community in September by announcing his aim to have “CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.” But it has since continued actions that push it away from that goal like opening new coal mines. According to Climate Action Tracker, an independent analysis by two German research organizations, China would need to phase out coal before 2040 to be on track to a 1.5 C scenario.
US hopes Xi Jinping will unveil further measures to fight climate crisis at summit this week
Xi Jinping is expected to deliver a speech on Thursday A Chinese diplomat recently said that the country would be unlikely to increase the ambition of its climate goals, citing its status as a developing country “For China, it’s coal, coal, coal – that’s where the ambition has to be,” said Amar Bhattacharya, senior fellow at Brookings’ centre for sustainable development, pointing to China’s continued use of coal power to generate more than half of the country’s energy. While praising China’s deployment of renewable energy, Kerry said over the weekend that such progress did not negate the need to phase out coal, adding that the subject had taken up a large portion of his meetings with Chinese officials in Shanghai. “China is the biggest coal user in the world,” he told reporters in Seoul. “And because it’s such a big and powerful economy and country, it needs to move.”
What can China bring to the climate change summit table?
EU and US reportedly pressuring China to make its climate targets more aggressive, bringing the peak emissions target date forward China’s ambitions include hitting peak emissions and increasing non-fossil fuel energy share to around 25 per cent by 2030
Despite the risks, China’s green bonds will prove rewarding for global investors
The market, already the world’s second largest, is expected to grow further in size, depth and liquidity to meet China’s ambitious net-zero carbon target Strengthening information disclosure and a more rigorous definition of what counts as a green bond will add to the appeal, on top of its diverse offerings and high yields As the world’s largest emitter, China’s goal will require trillions of yuan in new investments to revamp its carbon-intensive economy and energy system over the coming four decades. The green bond market in China, developed to mobilise private-sector resources to facilitate this transformation, has tremendous growth potential. For global investors, there are a number of reasons the Chinese green bond market could appear attractive. First, it is large enough to accommodate significant foreign investor participation.
Earth Summit 2021: China excludes fossil fuel projects from green bonds, taking a step towards global standards on the path to 2060
The announcement is a big step forward, but until further reform Chinese green bonds will remain off bounds to many international investors, analysts said So-called clean coal and secondary oil and gas extraction projects will no longer qualify for fundraising via green bonds, under updated rules
China and US should ‘use UN to build global climate change consensus’
United Nations is the place to create a coalition of political will to tackle carbon emissions and other global challenges, says its envoy to Beijing Siddharth Chatterjee also calls for concrete actions from Washington and Beijing over coming months to tackle the crisis ahead of leaders’ summit
Taiwan planning for zero emissions by 2050, President Tsai Ing-wen says
Island ‘cannot fall behind the international trend’, she says at Earth Day event in Taipei ‘The supply and demand ends of the market must change the logic of their thinking, seize new business opportunities,’ she says
Financial technology giant Ant Group unveils midterm carbon reduction plan as it pursues net-zero emission by 2030
Ant Group will work with Alibaba Cloud to boost the share of renewable energy on its total electricity consumption to 30 per cent in five years Experts from the China Environmental United Certification Centre will advise the fintech giant on its carbon neutrality plan
pdf : China’s FinTech: the End of the Wild West
This study provides an overview of the development of FinTech in China, and how the Chinese government is seeking to strike a new balance between innovation and regulation. The general analysis of the sector is complemented by a dive into the country’s “big five” – the five largest FinTech players, namely, Ant Group, Tencent, Ping An, JD Technology, and Du Xiaoman Financial – including their international expansion. Finally, the paper raises a number of important questions from the angle of European data management issues, to anticipate a possible expansion of Chinese FinTech platforms in Europe.
Jack Ma Shows Why China’s Tycoons Keep Quiet
High-profile business leaders have been detained, sidelined or silenced as the Communist Party moves forcefully to keep companies in line. Today, the best strategy is to lie low.
What happens to China’s rich and famous when they run into trouble with the law?
We’re now starting to see how the state is punishing the man who, for a long time, seemed almost untouchable. China has now started aggressively clipping the wings of his business interests.
Earlier this month, Alibaba “accepted” a $3.6 billion fine for anti-competitive behaviour. “To serve its responsibility to society, Alibaba will operate in accordance with the law with utmost diligence, continue to strengthen its compliance systems and build on growth through innovation,” Alibaba said in a statement. Meanwhile, Ant Group has been hit with tighter regulation that makes it a much less valuable proposition. But Jack Ma still has his freedom — for now, at least.
China Focus on Online Lending Risk Evident in Ant Developments
The Chinese regulators’ decision to require the delinking of Ant Group’s microlending business from its payment platform, Alipay, provides further evidence of the authorities’ focus on reducing risks to financial system and social stability posed by the online microlending (OM) sector, as well as their efforts to rectify anti-competitive behaviour in the third-party payment market, says Fitch Ratings.
Prosus, Tencent invest $80 million in European online broker BUX
Prosus NV and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are investing in European online-trading group BUX, giving the internet giants a greater foothold in the fast growing sector
Tencent makes new overseas fintech foray, joining biggest shareholder Prosus in US$80 million funding round of European online broker BUX
The latest investment by Tencent and Prosus gives the two internet giants a greater foothold in Europe’s fast-growing web-based trading sector Web-based trading platforms have been on the rise in Europe as more of the financial industry moves online and interest rates remain depressed
Huawei starts selling smart cars in flagship stores across China to offset smartphone losses
The SF5 model has been jointly launched by the Shenzhen-based tech giant and carmaker SERESMoves comes after senior executive said smart cars may help company offset declining smartphone sales
Chanel loses EU trademark court fight with Huawei over logo
The case centred on a EU trademark registered by Huawei in 2017 featuring two interlocking semicircles The European General Court has ruled that Huawei’s trademark is significantly different from Chanel’s iconic logo of two interlocking Cs
Ericsson champions competition with Huawei and ZTE as it reaffirms commitment to Chinese market
The Swedish telecoms giant wants to avoid potential backlash in China, a major source of revenue for the company Huawei is battling Swedish sanctions that bar the company from supplying 5G network equipment to the Nordic nation
China-US relations: revive exchange programmes to cut through mistrust, analysts urge
Start small and don’t wait for politicians at the top to improve ties, observers say NGOs and the media could be two areas for common ground, conference told
US senators propose more programmes to help competition with China
The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is amended to provide more aid to Africa and Latin America and more tech funding The foreign policy issue ‘perhaps for the entire 21st century is going to be China, China and China,’ one senator says
Is the US-China strategic competition a cold war?
With or without the label “cold war,” the United States and China are locked in a protracted conflict over core national values, including economic and geopolitical interests. The fact that the Chinese economy is stronger than the Soviet Union’s decrepit economy, playing a key role in integrated global supply chains, while many Western countries suffer from internal divisions, makes the strategic competition more challenging for the West than the Cold War of the late twentieth century was. Of particular concern is the fact that the United States has suffered a steep fall in its Freedom House “Freedom in the World” score since 2010, denting much of its soft power. Consequently, the contestants in today’s conflict appear to be more evenly matched, making for a difficult struggle ahead—whatever you want to call it.
Is the US-China strategic competition a cold war?
US lawmakers back US$100 billion science push to compete with China
The Endless Frontier Act represents a significant effort to boost private sector and university research in advanced technologies with federal funding The bipartisan measure would also authorise another US$10 billion to designate regional technology hubs and create a supply chain crisis response programme
TSMC tackles Taiwan drought with plant to reuse water for chips
Water shortages are forcing semiconductor sector to take action Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, is building a plant capable of treating industrial water so it can be reused to make semiconductors — part of efforts to tackle Taiwan’s crippling water shortage. This month Taiwan’s government started rationing water use by suspending water supplies for two days a week in some cities, including at some science parks — the heart of the island’s tech supply chain. The economic minister said the measure will last at least until the end of next month and will be adjusted as needed depending on rainfall amounts.The areas affected by this suspension will have to rely on other sources, such as water trucks, local water storage facilities and groundwater. Taiwan’s top chipmakers including TSMC, United Microelectronics and Winbond have already started contingency plans, including mobilizing water trucks. Several cities have started to drill wells to deal with the drought, in case there is further water rationing. In the city of Taichung, where TSMC also operates a major plant, the government will drill 88 additional wells, according to the Water Resources agency.
Australia and New Zealand play down differences over China and the ‘Five Eyes’
Foreign ministers Marise Payne and Nanaia Mahuta stress ‘common values’, as Wellington reiterates hesitancy over using intelligence alliance to confront Beijing on human rights Australia’s ties with China have nosedived since its call for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus. New Zealand recently upgraded its free-trade pact with Beijing
China-Germany relations: engage, don’t isolate, foreign ministers urge European Union
Heiko Maas and Wang Yi make the case against decoupling as Xinjiang sanctions cloud investment deal Call comes in the countdown to the departure of German Chancellor
Don’t cut ties with China, German FM warns EU
The European Union needs to engage with China despite many differences instead of opting for a more isolationist approach, Germany said on Wednesday. “In the EU, we have been describing China as a partner, competitor and systemic rival at the same time,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
‘Firmly and forcefully’: China threatens Australia over Belt and Road decision
China has threatened retaliation over the federal government’s decision to cancel Victoria’s Belt and Road agreement as the move secured support across the political and security spectrums in Australia.
China accuses Australia of hypocrisy over cancelled belt and road deals
‘Australia says it wants to open up cooperation with China and increase our high-level dialogue, but it says one thing and does another,’ foreign ministry spokesman says Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Canberra can’t allow ‘these sort of arrangements and friendships to pop up because they’re used for propaganda reasons’
Climate cooperation meeting – Hong Kong – EU Indo-Pacific strategy
China’s new nuclear reactors could yield weapons-grade plutonium, warns US commander
The country is developing fast breeder reactors as it seeks to reduce dependence on coal, but they can produce material with potential for military use The US Strategic Command head says this will ‘change the upper bounds of what China could choose to do’ in terms of expanding its nuclear capabilities
China’s military budget: no need for alarm yet
At China’s 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) in March 2021, Beijing set aside funds for a 6.8 per cent increase in national defence spending over the next year — totalling some 1.35 trillion RMB (US$210 billion). Some media accounts took this as an indicator of Beijing’s readiness for war, but the counterargument is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to see a strategic window to upgrade its People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which still lags behind the better-equipped and more experienced US military.
Critics Accuse Award-Winning Chinese Writer of Pandering to Foreign Readers
Jia’nan Qian won an O. Henry Prize for her short story about stark countryside living during China’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution.
In Chinese Families, Who Really Has the Power of the Purse?
In contemporary China, women may exert strict control over family funds, but such arrangements are rarely as progressive as they seem.
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