China Briefing, 13 May 2021: Greta Thunberg criticised; Former energy official arrested; EV boom makes ‘richest man’

Greta Thunberg has actually drawn the ire of Chinas state media and web users after prompting the nation to “dramatically” change its emissions trajectory. A hashtag implicating the Swedish environment campaigner of “ethically kidnapping” China has actually gone viral on Chinese social media platforms..

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Thunberg faces backlash over China emission tweet.

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WHAT: Liu Baohua, the former deputy director of the National Energy Administration (NEA), has been formally apprehended on suspicion of getting kickbacks, according to state-run newswire Xinhua. The NEA is Chinas energy regulator. (Carbon Briefs thorough Q&A describes how corrupted energy authorities have impacted Chinas environment actions.).

HIDDEN GEM: The Global Times reported that fossils found in south-eastern Chinas Fujian Province have actually suggested that the climate in the area 15m years ago was really comparable to the presently predicted worldwide climate in 2100. It noted the discovery could assist anticipate “future environmental changes amid rising concern about climate change”..

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WHO: “Your PR team ought to educate u more,” Chen Weihua, the EU Bureau Chief of state-owned China Daily, responded to Thunberg by means of Twitter on Saturday. The following day, state-run tabloid the Global Times called Thunberg “brief of enough academic understanding research study” and stated she had a “lack of sound self-judgment ability”. State-approved independent news site criticised “foreign media” that had reported the study. DW News, a news and commentary site primarily read by overseas Chinese, implicated Thunberg and “the public relations team and interest groups behind her” of “politicising” environment problems.

The nexuses in between energy investments, technological innovations, emission taxes, and carbon emissions in ChinaEnergy Policy.


WHERE: Much of the reaction originated from reporters in Chinese media. In addition, a trending topic– entitled “environment-protecting lady morally kidnaps China”– has, as of writing, amassed more than 11m views on Weibo, Chinas heavily censored Twitter-like platform.

WHAT: Greta Thunberg was widely condemned by Chinese state media and social networks users after tweeting about a CNN report of recent US analysis. According to the research, “Chinas yearly emissions went beyond those of all industrialized nations integrated” in 2019. Thunberg wrote in her post: “We cant solve the climate crisis unless China considerably changes course.”.

Former senior energy official arrested over bribery charges.

An empirical analysis of the environmental efficiency of Chinas abroad coal plantsEnvironmental Research Letters.

BATTERY BILLIONAIRE: Physicist and entrepreneur Robin Zeng Yuqun, who owns 25% of CATL, a company that makes EVs batteries, ended up being the richest man in Hong Kong recently, reported South China Morning Post. The publication stated 53-year-old Zeng dethroned the citys long-lasting top magnate, Li Ka-Shing, thanks to a “boom in EVs”..

A new study has discovered that Chinas abroad coal plants are “cleaner” than those non-Chinese counterparts in terms of CO2 emissions intensity. Their overall emissions are “likely to grow” as a percentage of the coal plant emissions in Asia over time, it includes.

On the other hand, a “boom” in electrical vehicles (EV) has caused a Chinese physicist being called the richest guy in Hong Kong– a powerful title that symbolises the epitome of wealth in China. Robin Zeng Yuqun, worth more than $30bn, co-owns a business that makes EV batteries for worldwide brand names, such as Tesla. One news site called him “the Chinese guy behind Musk”.

WHY IT MATTERS: China is sensitive about being reminded of its emission volume, especially by “western” activists and organisations, such as Thunberg. Beijing has been highlighting that the United States is “the No1 emitter in history” and Chinas per-capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are “much lower than those of developed nations”.

US-CHINA COOPERATION: Politico reported that John Kerry, the United States unique governmental envoy for climate, said on Wednesday that the White House was not merely “depending on somebodys word” to guarantee China satisfies its climate promises. Kerry kept in mind that China had actually “moved rather” after concerted climate talks, but anticipated more negotiations ahead of the COP26, Politico included.

WHERE: Liu is now dealing with prosecution in east Chinas Shandong province. Chinas Supreme Peoples Procuratorate has appointed individualss Procuratorate of Qingdao to manage the case, Xinhua said.

New science.

WHY IT MATTERS: The NEA has been “struck hard by corruption” considering that its facility in 2008, Caixin mentioned in a report from last month. The publication noted that, before Liu, 2 former NEA directors had actually been investigated and sentenced. Yicai stated that, in 2014, the then-deputy director of the NEAs coal division was found to have actually concealed cash worth more than 100m yuan (₤ 10m) in the house.

WHEN: Thunberg shared the CNN report on Twitter last Friday setting off waves of criticism from China over the weekend..

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MORE ACTIONS NEEDED: A report from the United States thinktank the Center for American Progress discovered that increasing coal consumption, coal-fired power capacity and growing commercial emissions has “undercut” the Chinese federal governments “carbon neutrality” promise. It also suggested that the US engages China in “three key locations” relating to environment problems.

METHANE MEASURES: Beijing means to impose numerous procedures to cut methane emissions, reported Chinas 21st Century Business Herald. “As the dual carbon objectives have actually been placed on the agenda, Chinas focus of taking on environment change is also moving from CO2 to other greenhouse gases,” the outlet stated..

The former deputy head of Chinas energy regulator has been officially apprehended over bribery charges. Chinese media reported that Liu Baohua had actually “fallen off his horse”– a Chinese saying for being captured or disgraced– last year and had actually been under investigation by the national anti-corruption firm..

Chinas CO2 emission trends between 1995 and 2019 were exacerbated by provincial growth and the development of the tertiary or service sector, according to new research. The paper discovers that greater energy financial investments, technological innovation, renewable resource usage, expense on research study and advancement and carbon emission taxes might help with the nations carbon-abatement program..

WHEN: Xinhua stated on Wednesday that the Supreme Peoples Procuratorate, Chinas highest organ for legal supervision, had purchased Liu to be officially detained “recently”. He had been discovered to “seriously breach discipline and law” and penetrated by the countrys leading anti-corruption watchdog since last October, reported financial outlet Caixin.

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WHO: Liu, 57, is initially from northern Chinas Hebei province and had actually worked in different Chinese energy authorities since 1984, according to state-approved monetary outlet Yicai. He had held posts in the now-defunct Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity and State Economic and Trade Commission, to name a few, Yicai said. He ended up being the NEAs second-in-command in 2017, it added.

GAS GAME: China is turning to central Asian country Turkmenistan for more natural gas supplies as Beijing cuts back on Australian energy imports, reported South China Morning Post. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi called the gas cooperation the “ballast stone” of the two countries ties on Monday, according to a main release.

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According to the research study, “Chinas yearly emissions exceeded those of all developed countries integrated” in 2019. WHY IT MATTERS: China is delicate about being reminded of its emission volume, especially by “western” organisations and activists, such as Thunberg. Beijing has actually been highlighting that the United States is “the No1 emitter in history” and Chinas per-capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are “much lower than those of industrialized nations”. (Carbon Briefs in-depth Q&An explains how damaged energy authorities have actually affected Chinas climate actions.).

A brand-new study has discovered that Chinas abroad coal plants are “cleaner” than those non-Chinese equivalents in terms of CO2 emissions strength.