China, coal and COP26: can the world’s biggest emitter give up its dirty habit?

When he was a little boy in the 1980s, Wang Xiaojun was taught to be proud of his home town of Lüliang in the north-western Chinese province of Shanxi. Shanxi is China’s biggest coal-producing region, and Lüliang was a significant base for the army during the second world war. Nestled in the mountains of the dusty Loess Plateau, Lüliang, a city of 3.4 million people, has had less to shout about in recent years. A series of corruption scandals in the city brought down several high profile officials shortly after…

China’s Power Crunch Exposes Tensions Ahead of Key U.N. Climate Summit

chinas power crunch exposes tensions ahead of key u n climate summit

Renewable energy in inland China sometimes generates more electricity than nearby consumers can use, but then at other times produces too little. Just five years ago, three inland regions that create abundant solar and wind energy power — sparsely populated Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Gansu — were wasting up to two-fifths of that power. To address this problem, China has built ultra-high-voltage transmission lines linking the country’s interior to hubs near the coast. But connectivity still has a ways to go. “New demand can more than be met by cleaner…

China Power Outages Close Factories and Threaten Growth

china power outages close factories and threaten growth

DONGGUAN, China — Power cuts and even blackouts have slowed or closed factories across China in recent days, adding a new threat to the country’s slowing economy and potentially further snarling global supply chains ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season in the West. The outages have rippled across most of eastern China, where the bulk of the population lives and works. Some building managers have turned off elevators. Some municipal pumping stations have shut down, prompting one town to urge residents to store extra water for the next several…

China Pledges to Stop Building Coal Plants Abroad: Explained

china pledges to stop building coal plants abroad

Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, said on Tuesday that his country would stop building coal-burning power plants overseas, a major shift by the world’s second-biggest economy to move away from its support of the fossil fuel. China “will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” he told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. The news comes amid a broad international effort to reduce coal use and to keep global temperatures from rising at their current pace, which scientists have warned could be disastrous. The announcement by China, which is…

China Tells Kerry Strained Ties Could Sink Climate Cooperation

china tells kerry strained ties could sink climate cooperation

China and the United States agree that climate change is a crisis whipping up worsening droughts and storms across the planet. Yet escalating tensions over trade, security and human rights threaten to overshadow efforts between the world’s top two greenhouse gas polluters to stop global temperatures from hitting catastrophic levels. The United States envoy for climate, John Kerry, and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, are wrangling this week over those steps in Tianjin, a northern Chinese city, seeking common ground before international negotiations in Glasgow in November. Leaders from nearly…