‘Ecological civilisation’: an empty slogan or will China act on the environment?

This week, China took charge of hosting a major UN environmental conference for the first time, at the opening of Cop15 in Kunming. The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and largest consumer of natural resources might seem a strange choice to host talks to stop the destruction of ecosystems and mass extinctions of wildlife, but the conference marks a tipping point in China’s development and an international debut for “ecological civilisation”, a little-known phrase outside its borders with big implications for the planet. Amid uncertainty around whether President Xi Jinping…

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…

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…

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…

Major UN biodiversity summit delayed for third time due to pandemic

1746

A key United Nations biodiversity summit has been delayed for a third time due to the pandemic, the Chinese environment ministry has announced, as environmentalists pledged the delay would “not mean taking our foot off the pedal”. In a statement, the Chinese ministry of ecology and environment confirmed that Cop15, the biggest biodiversity summit in a decade, would be delayed, and that negotiations for this decade’s targets will be split into two phases so that governments can meet face-to-face in Kunming, China, in the first half of 2022. The talks…