China Briefing, 21 October 2021: ‘Power woes may worsen’; Xi ‘not expected to join’ COP26; UK-China climate ties

JOHNSON: Also on Tuesday, the UK released its 368-page net-zero method. Boris Johnson composed in the foreword that “the United Kingdom is not scared to lead the charge towards global net absolutely no at COP26, since history has never been made by those who sit at the back of the class hoping not to be contacted … so the likes of China and Russia are following our lead with their own net no targets”.

WHAT: Reuters reported on Monday that Chinas “power troubles may worsen” regardless of the governments orders to boost the production and supply of coal– the primary basic material the nation utilizes to generate electrical power. The newswire said the power shortages “look set to strength” after information from Chinas National Bureau of Statistics showed that coal output had dropped in September, compared to August and the same duration in 2015. The news added to concern that China might not be able to satisfy its surging energy need in winter season, the outlet kept in mind. Coal costs in China increased to tape-record highs at the start of this week before plunging following Beijings hint of “implement [ing] intervention procedures” on the fuels expenses, according to Reuters, Bloomberg and the Financial Times. (Last week, Carbon Brief published analysis explaining how the power scarcities could impact Chinas climate action.).

WHO ELSE: But Dr Yang Muyi, senior electrical energy policy expert of Asia at Ember– an independent climate and energy thinktank– told Carbon Brief that “Chinas primary focus of the time is not to control soaring coal prices”, however to “make sure the safe supply of thermal coal for heating and power generation, particularly as winter season approaches”. Dr Yang discussed that the current “record-high” coal prices “are due to large supply shortfalls on the back of skyrocketing demand”. He stated coal costs might still vary “at a reasonably high level in the short term”, including that the effects of the coal orders “might require time to appear”.

New science.

Johnson told Xi will not participate in COP26, report says.

XIE: Chinas environment envoy Xie Zhenhua has actually said that China does “not need UK actions to encourage” it to be more enthusiastic in addressing climate modification. Set up a very clear roadmap together with clear timeframe policy steps and actual visible actions to support its double targets”.

Welcome to Carbon Briefs China weekly digest. We handpick and explain the most essential environment and energy stories from China over the past 7 days.

UK-CHINA TIES: Caroline Wilson, the British Ambassador to China, has worried the value of UK-China environment change cooperation to the Chinese state media. Wilson informed Global Times that the two nations “should continue to stand together as we support partners all over the world in meeting their environment dedications”. In another interview with CGTN, she stated: “Were working closely with China on green financing, so that situation where we have to do more, including ensuring the financing, is offered for establishing countries.”.

NEV: The development of the “brand-new energy” lorry (NEV) industry is “speeding up” in China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated at a press conference on Tuesday. In China, “new energy” lorries refer to automobiles that use a “brand-new type” of power system and are driven entirely or mainly by a “new type” of energy, according to an official notice. It generally consists of pure electric automobiles, plug-in hybrid automobiles and fuel cell vehicles.

A brand-new research study– which approximates that Chinas food need will increase by 16-30% over 2020-50– has found that satisfying this demand without hurting the environment is “one of the best sustainability obstacles for the coming decades”. The authors modelled the change in Chinas food demand over 2020-50 using a series of future scenarios. They discovered that to satisfy the need, the country would locally require 3-12m hectares of additional pasture over this time– driving a modification in farming greenhouse gas emissions of between -2% and 16%. The research study kept in mind that farming imports would account for 88-226m tonnes of CO2 equivalent of emissions imported to China every year– comprising 13-32% of Chinas “worldwide ecological impact”. Zhao Hao– the lead author of the research study from the IIASA Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program and the Chinese Academy of Sciences– informed Carbon Brief that the findings had “significant implications for methodically developing the food system in China associated to food demand, production systems, and ecological and resources management.”.

Power scarcities look set to magnify in spite of efforts, report says.

The Times reported that UK prime minister Boris Johnson had actually been informed that Chinas president Xi Jinping “will not participate in” COP26, which is scheduled to open in Glasgow next Sunday. Asked if Xi will join the top on Tuesday, Chinas climate envoy Xie Zhenhua informed Reuters to await an announcement..

Key advancements.

WHEN: Yesterday, the Kremlin confirmed that Russias president Vladimir Putin would not fly to Glasgow for COP26, according to numerous media outlets, consisting of BBC News, AFP (through France24) and the Daily Telegraph. A Kremlin spokesman said that Putin would go to the summit essentially, but gave no factors for his physical absence, the reports stated. Both Xi and Putin had received “individual invitations” to COP26 by Johnson, the Sunday Times stated in July..

WHO: Xi has actually not left China for nearly two years. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Chinese diplomats had actually said that Xi did not strategy to go to Rome for the G20 Summit, which will be held from 30-31 October. Bloomberg cited “4 people familiar with the matter” and three of them referred to Covid-19 as a factor for Xis anticipated absence. Last month, Xi dealt with the UN General Assembly in New York via a pre-recorded video. Xi likewise stopped working to show up at COP15, a UN biodiversity conference that took place in Chinas Kunming last week. Rather, Xi provided a virtual keynote speech. Bloomberg and BBC News reported that Xis last overseas go to was to Myanmar from 17-18 January last year..

WHY IT MATTERS: China– which is presently the worlds largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter– is widely thought about as one of the crucial gamers at COP26. Alok Sharma, president-designate for COP26, said last month that the “ball remains in Chinas court” when it comes to guaranteeing the success of the top. Xis possible non-attendance has actually led to prevalent media coverage as lots of are expecting China to raise its climate ambition in Glasgow. (China has yet to upgrade its Nationally Determined Contribution.) The Times called Xis expected absence a “snub”, including that “British organisers” feared that it “might be a start to China declining to set brand-new climate change goals amid an energy crunch.” The Daily Telegraph said the news came “amid growing issue that the COP26 top will not be a success”. UK transportation secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News that “if countries do not come [to COP26] theyll be the outliers”. The Guardian stated it comprehended that “that Xis involvement face to face is still possible and the UN said China still planned to take part”.

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WHO: Alex Whitworth, head of Asia Pacific power and renewables research study at Wood Mackenzie– a research and consultancy group for markets including energy– told Reuters on Monday that “the Chinese government is losing the fight to manage soaring coal rates”. Whitworth noted that coal output had actually reduced last month “due to weather, safety and logistics challenges” despite the federal governments efforts. He included that China had not “prospered in checking growing power demand”, either.

CHINAS RESPONSE: When asked about Xis prepare for COP26 by Reuters on Tuesday, Xie– Chinas unique envoy on environment change– stated an official announcement was yet to be made. He informed the newswire: “We still need to wait on the info (from the) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and only after they make an announcement will we tell you.” Xie kept in mind that COP26 was deeply significant which China wanted the conference to be a success, the outlet stated. On Sunday, the envoy told a domestic “carbon neutrality” forum that China would contribute its “Chinese knowledge” to COP26, Caixin reported. Chinas foreign ministry has not yet validated whether or not Xi will take a trip to Glasgow.

WHERE: Plunging temperature levels in parts of China this month have actually deepened issue that the power supply gap might increase, Reuters reported, pointing out ANZ analysts. S&P Global Platts said on Tuesday that the winter season heating season in northern China had actually started 10-15 days earlier than usual due to a cold wave. Citing “market participants and traders”, the outlet stated that the early start would enhance demand for coal, gas and electrical energy “earlier than anticipated” and was “bullish” for fuel costs..

RENEWABLE: China is bulk-building “new energy” tasks in its vast deserts, according to state media. The province of Gansu in north-western China started the construction of 39 renewable energy jobs simultaneously last Friday, reported CGTN.

Xie told Sky News that China does not require UK actions to motivate it to set more ambitious climate goals. Xies statement came as Johnson wrote in the foreword for the UK net-zero strategy that “the UK is not scared to lead the charge towards international net-zero at COP26”, including “the similarity China and Russia are following our lead”.

Other news.

Extra reading.

Greater sensitivity of planted forests efficiency than natural forests to dry spells in ChinaJGR Biogeosciences.

HOW: State news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday that China had actually allowed 153 coal mines to dial up their production capability by 220m tonnes per year considering that September– a relocation that is anticipated to enhance the coal output in the fourth quarter by more than 50m tonnes. The NDRC sent a team to Qinhuangdao– Chinas main coal center– on Wednesday to “supervise the work of making sure supply and stabilising costs for coal”.

Chinas future food demand and its ramifications for trade and environmentNature Sustainability.

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WHAT: The Times reported last Friday that Boris Johnson had been “advised by diplomats” that Chinas president Xi would not travel to Glasgow to participate in COP26– which is scheduled to range from 31 October to 12 November. The publication explained Xis potential no-show as “an obstacle to the aspirations of the COP26 summit”, including that Xi was “not expected to sign up with more than a hundred other world leaders, consisting of President Biden”. Mentioning “government sources”, BBC News reported that “it was possible Xi might change his mind and come at the last minute”. The Daily Telegraph, Reuters and Sky News also chose up the Timess report. China has yet to reveal whether Xi would go to the environment talks personally, by means of video link or not at all. CGTN, the English arm of Chinas state broadcaster, reported on Tuesday that Chinas environment envoy Xie would go to Glasgow for the conference.

WHEN: Chinas domestic coal production “is very likely to increase from October onwards” since lots of “inexpensive” coal mines are ramping up their production, according to Dr Yang. He kept in mind that the National Mine Safety Administration had actually made it “extremely clear” that the expansion of coal production capacity must be based on mining security. “It takes some time to examine each specific coal mine to make sure that it meets the safety requirement for production,” he discussed..

New research study has discovered that the vegetation productivity of planted forests was more conscious dry spell than that of natural forests in China. The research study showed that the efficiency of planted forests suffered bigger unfavorable anomalies under drought stress, but recuperated at a quicker rate than natural forests after drought. The scientists said the observed distinctions in the sensitivity to droughts showed the “functional and structural distinctions” in between planted forests and natural forests communities. Dr He Bin from Beijing Normal University, the papers corresponding author, told Carbon Brief: “Knowledge from this study is important for the understanding of changes of planted forests in the context of climate modification.”.

INTERVIEW: Li Gao, director-general of the department of climate change in Chinas Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told ITV News that established countries must take more obligation for climate change rather than blaming others. In what was explained as “an uncommon interview”, Li reasserted Beijings decision to hit its “dual-carbon” objectives, but also acknowledged the obstacle.

ETS: Chinas nationwide emissions trading plan (ETS)– which was released on 16 July– had actually seen more than 18m tonnes of carbon emission allowance traded by Monday, according to data reported by Shanghai Securities News. The cumulative turnover had reached 845m yuan ($ 132m), the publication said.


Chinas power lacks “might intensify” despite Beijings orders to boost coal supply, Reuters reported. The outlet made the prediction after information showed that Chinas coal output had actually fallen in September compared to August. A specialist told Carbon Brief that Chinas domestic coal production “is really likely to increase from October onwards”.

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CGTN, the English arm of Chinas state broadcaster, reported on Tuesday that Chinas environment envoy Xie would go to Glasgow for the conference.

The Guardian said it comprehended that “that Xis participation in person is still possible and the UN stated China still planned to participate”.

CHINAS RESPONSE: When asked about Xis plan for COP26 by Reuters on Tuesday, Xie– Chinas special envoy on climate change– said a formal announcement was yet to be made. XIE: Chinas climate envoy Xie Zhenhua has said that China does “not need UK actions to motivate” it to be more ambitious in attending to environment modification. The study kept in mind that farming imports would account for 88-226m tonnes of CO2 equivalent of emissions imported to China every year– comprising 13-32% of Chinas “global ecological effect”.