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…

How Record Rain and Officials’ Mistakes in China Led to Drownings on a Subway

how record rain and officials mistakes in china led to drownings on a subway

ZHENGZHOU, China — The heaviest hour of rainfall ever reliably recorded in China crashed like a miles-wide waterfall over the city of Zhengzhou on July 20, killing at least 300 people, including 14 who drowned in a subway tunnel. In the aftermath, regional and national officials initially suggested that little could have been done in the face of a storm of such magnitude. But an analysis of how the authorities responded that day, based on government documents, interviews with experts and Chinese news reports, shows that flaws in the subway…

At U.N., Biden Calls for Diplomacy, not Conflict, but Some Are Skeptical

at u n biden calls for diplomacy not conflict but some are skeptical

President Biden, fighting mounting doubts among America’s allies about his commitment to working with them, used his debut address to the United Nations on Tuesday to call for “relentless diplomacy” on climate change, the pandemic and efforts to blunt the expanding influence of autocratic nations like China and Russia. In a 30-minute address in the hall of the General Assembly, Mr. Biden called for a new era of global action, making the case that a summer of wildfires, excessive heat and the resurgence of the coronavirus required a new era…

Biden Set to Host World Leaders for Climate Forum

biden set to host world leaders for climate forum

President Biden is set to host a climate change summit Friday morning that is expected to draw pledges from the United States, Europe and a number of countries to slash their use of methane, a potent planet-warming greenhouse gas, according to environmental groups. The White House meeting, which is called the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, will be held virtually starting at 8:30 a.m. It comes less than two months before a pivotal United Nations conference in Glasgow where nearly 200 nations are expected to announce more ambitious…

Biden Speaks With Xi Amid Low Point in U.S.-China Relations

biden speaks with xi amid low point in u s china relations

WASHINGTON — In their first conversation in seven months, President Biden spoke on Thursday with President Xi Jinping of China, expressing concern over China’s cyberactivities while arguing that the leaders of the world’s two largest economies could set aside their differences to work together on climate change. The call amounted to a break in what experts have called one of the lowest points in the relationship between the two countries in decades. It was only the second time that the leaders have spoken since Mr. Biden’s inauguration; the lack of…

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…