Kerry Engages with UAE, India, and China As Climate Summit Nears

Kerry Engages with UAE, India, and China As Climate Summit Nears

Special Presidential Envoy on Climate (or “SPEC”) Kerry is engaging with key nations this week in the run-up to the Global Summit in two weeksIn India yesterday he met with Prime Minister Narenda Modi, who reaffirmed his government’s commitment to its Paris pledges, including increasing its non-fossil fuel power capacity to 40% and substantially boosting forest cover to reduce CO2. Kerry visits Bangladesh today.

Why This Matters:  Kerry is using these visits to try to elicit elevated commitments from other major emitters — China and India.

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China Burned 53% of the World’s Coal in 2020

China Burned 53% of the World’s Coal in 2020

Despite President Xi Jinping’s pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, a new report released by energy and climate research group Ember, found that China burned more than half of the world’s coal in 2020. Experts say that China’s current Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) isn’t keeping up with the nation’s rocketing energy demands.

Why This Matters: China is the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions, but despite announcing net-zero emissions goals in 2020, its latest five-year plan included no updates to its climate goals.

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Chinese Trawling Fleet Posing As Domestic Operators Drains Fish from Ghanaian Waters

Chinese Trawling Fleet Posing As Domestic Operators Drains Fish from Ghanaian Waters

By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer

West Africa’s fishing grounds are quickly being monopolized by the Chinese distant-waters fishing industry, according to a new report released by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). In Ghana, an estimated 90% of the country’s coastal trawlers are, for all intents and purposes, owned by Chinese corporations despite laws banning foreign ownership.

Why This Matters: In Ghana, the local fishing economy relies on coastal fishing for food and income. As Chinese industrial fishing operations encroach on these resources and expand operations they contribute to wide-scale ecosystem destruction.

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One Not Cool Thing: A “Polar Bear Hotel” In China

One Not Cool Thing: A “Polar Bear Hotel” In China

Yes – you read that right. CNN reported this week on the opening of The Polar Bear Hotel, which is in the Polarland theme park in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin. It opened its doors last Friday, and offers its 21 guest rooms 24/7 endangered polar bear viewing from every room.  At the park, […]

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China’s “Airpocalypse” Grounds Flights and People

China’s “Airpocalypse” Grounds Flights and People

This week, Beijing was hit by China’s strongest sand storm in a decade and conservationists are blaming an ongoing “ecological crisis” in the north and west of one of the world’s most populous cities. Air quality readings, which averaged 80 throughout most of 2020, reached 999 on Monday, triggering a “yellow alert” from China’s weather bureau. 

Why This Matters: China is the world’s largest polluter, accounting for about 28% of the globe’s carbon emissions. China’s recently raised its 2030 national climate targets to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

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China’s Climate Goals Fall Short

China’s Climate Goals Fall Short

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last year, China made a surprise commitment to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. But last week, the country released its latest Five-Year Plan, which sets the course for its near-term economic development, with no new climate goals. It still allows China to burn coal and doesn’t set a carbon […]

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