Coal-state Democrat set to scupper Biden clean energy plans

President Joe Biden is likely to abandon a clean energy programme that was the centrepiece of his efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions at home, US media reported, because of opposition from a swing-vote Democratic senator from a state with a historically large coal industry. Funding to replace coal- and gas-fired plants with wind, solar and nuclear generation was part of a massive budget bill that Biden is struggling to get through Congress. The New York Times reported that White House staff members are now rewriting the legislation without the…

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…