China Briefing, 29 July 2021: Lessons from deadly flooding; Definition of ‘carbon neutrality’; UK-China nuclear tensions

COAL FINANCE: China did not fund any coal projects through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the first half of 2021, reported Bloomberg, pointing out brand-new analysis. According to the outlet, this is “the first time” that BRI– an international facilities advancement strategy– has not invested in coal projects given that its launch in 2013. The findings were launched on Tuesday by the Beijing-based International Institute of Green Finance. Christoph Nedopil, director of the institute, told Bloomberg that he and his team anticipated even less opportunities for coal projects in the BRI in the future. Previously this month, China Briefing reported on a policy short, which found that just 13% of the overall financing for abroad coal-fired power plants worldwide comes from Chinese public or personal financing.

Elsewhere, 2 stories including China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), Chinas biggest state-owned nuclear company, have actually drawn in prevalent attention. The Financial Times reported on Monday that the UK government was thinking about “remov [ing] the firm from “all future power tasks in the UK” following “cooling in relations” in between London and Beijing in the last few years. The report activated a wave of media conversation and additional political responses. It followed CGNs French partner recently indirectly hinted that CGN should think about closing their jointly owned nuclear plant in China in the middle of an examination.

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WHO: Xie, a 71-year-old veteran environment mediator, was selected to his existing function by Chinas main federal government in February, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE). Liu Youbin, a spokesperson for the MEE, said Xies visit showed that China “pays attention” to environment change and “is committed to” enhancing the interaction and cooperation with global parties to address the issue. Xie headed Chinas UNFCCC environment delegation from 2007 to 2018 and worked as the countrys chief mediator during key environment meetings in Copenhagen and Paris, according to Reuters. In April, Xie met his United States counterpart, John Kerry, in Shanghai. China and the United States subsequently launched a joint declaration promising cooperation on dealing with environment change.

NUCLEAR: The UK federal government is “exploring methods” to “remove” Chinas state-owned CGN from “all future power projects in the UK”, reported the Financial Times, mentioning “individuals close to the discussions”. The publication stated the relocation followed “the cooling in relations in between London and Beijing over the last few years”. The story fired up rounds of media protection, including articles by Bloomberg, the Independent and the Daily Telegraph. Yesterday, the Times composed that the UK federal government was “facing fresh calls” to review CGNs involvement in the building of the ₤ 23bn Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset. [Read this Daily Briefing for more.] The news followed Électricité de France (EDF), a largely state-owned French power company, said last Thursday that it would “shut down” an atomic power plant it co-operates with CGN in China “if the center were in France”, reported the Financial Times. The center in concern, the Taishan nuclear power plant, is under examination over prospective fuel rod damage. [Read this China Briefing for more information.]

WHY IT MATTERS: “From the international viewpoint, this news brought the world one action closer to attaining the Paris Agreement objectives as China intends to take even more rigorous action than formerly believed,” Dr Dai Fan, director of California-China Climate Institute, informs Carbon Brief. She says, therefore, Xies information of them being consisted of in the federal governments 2060 objective makes the goal “more notable and ambitious”. She states that Xies speech, however, is “not surprising” as minimizing non-CO2 emissions was highlighted as one location of cooperation in between the United States and China in their joint statement.

WHAT: The rainstorm-induced floods that battered main Chinas Henan province last week have actually dominated the headings internationally. The latest official statistics show that at least 99 individuals have died as of today and almost 1.5 million people have actually been displaced considering that last week– with 930,300 individuals still in emergency shelters. The estimate of direct financial loss is more than 90bn yuan (₤ 10bn), a regional official stated at a press conference.

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WHAT: Xie Zhenhua, Chinas unique envoy for environment modification, has actually stated that the nation intends to neutralise “all GHGs” prior to 2060. He kept in mind that China means to attain the neutrality of “the emissions of greenhouse gases in all financial sectors, not just CO2”. On peaking carbon emissions, the official said Chinas goal is to reach its peak emissions of CO2– not GHGs– by 2030.

New science.

MEDIA REACTION: The catastrophe– which struck the third most populated province in China– has actually stirred up conversation about its link to environment modification in various media outlets. Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said that severe weather condition, consisting of Zhengzhous flooding, “puts climate modification in focus”; while the Los Angeles Times reported that Chinese officials were busy managing the narrative of the floods, “not on climate change”. Additionally, the Guardian composed that some Chinese media outlets and citizens had actually started going over the “role of climate crisis” in the fatal floods. The New York Times analysed how a “climate crisis” is turning trains around the globe– including Zhengzhous underground transportation system, which is not even eight years of ages– into “flood zones”. In contrast, reports from Chinas state media have actually been less direct. A short article syndicated by state newswire Xinhua associated numerous current events, such as the North American heatwave and German flooding, with international warming. It stopped short of saying that the Henan flooding was amongst those severe weather condition occasions. Jia Xiaolong, deputy director of the National Climate Centre, informed China News Service, another state-run newswire, that the flooding is the “direct result” of an “anomalous synergy” of East Asian atmospheric flow. Jia described the occasion– together with the flooding in western Europe– as the “representations of the extreme heavy rainfall events”. He said those occasions are caused by an unstable environment system “aggravated” by global warming.

The South China Morning Post said that two of Zhengzhous “clever city” tasks– one for flood management and another for tunnel safety– have actually been singled out for criticism. According to Peoples Daily, the main paper of Chinas Communist Party, the city has spent more than 50bn yuan (₤ 5.6 bn) turning itself into a so-called “sponge city”. Wu informs Carbon Brief that the flooding has revealed that Zhengzhous emergency situation action system to severe weather condition occasions “did not fully operate” and the design of its urban facilities “does not have adequate resilience factor to consider”.

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ECOLOGICAL INSPECTION: A Chinese environment official has warned of “extremely major” consequences if “dual-high” tasks– those with “high” energy intake and “high” emissions– are enabled to “establish blindly”, Beijing Youth Daily reported. Hongqiao Liu, Carbon Briefs China specialist, has actually described the importance of this round of inspection in this Twitter thread.

Invite to Carbon Quicks China weekly digest. We handpick and explain the most crucial climate and energy stories from China over the previous 7 days.

Deadly Henan flooding stimulates global conversation of environment modification.

Chinas 2060 carbon neutrality objective covers all greenhouse gases.

New research study has found that the mainland of Shanghai is “well secured” by high-standard seawalls and remains “reasonably safe” from coastal flooding under the current environment. Nevertheless, the megacity– positioned on Chinas eastern coast and house to more than 22 million individuals– is anticipated to be “significantly at risk” due to future water level increase, according to the research study. By examining more than 5,000 model simulations of storms, the scientists also determined three “worst-case” situations of storms that would produce “unprecedentedly high flood levels” in Shanghai. Prof Yin Jie from East China Normal University and the lead author of the paper, tells Carbon Brief that one of them resembles Typhoon In-Fa, which landed near Shanghai two times over the weekend. Prof Yin includes that it is “important” to perform “such detailed research studies” elsewhere for establishing sustainable flood durability strategies.

The first worldwide carbon dioxide flux map obtained from TanSat measurementsAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences.

Measuring stranded properties of the coal-fired power in China under the Paris Agreement targetClimate Policy.

Separately, Chinas climate envoy has said that the countrys objective of accomplishing “carbon neutrality” prior to 2060 describes the neutralisation of “all greenhouse gases” (GHG), not simply co2 (CO2), regional media reported. Carbon Brief comprehends that this is the very first time a Chinese official has actually publically clarified the scope of the countrys climate promise, which was announced by President Xi Jinping last September..

ETS: Chinas carbon market has actually seen more than 5.8 m tonnes of carbon emission allotments sold and purchased through the nationwide emission trading scheme (ETS) considering that its launch earlier this month, reported Securities Daily. Another analyst said that Chinas carbon rate “is low at the minute” but has “reasonably big space for increase”. Carbon Briefs thorough Q&A has actually explained how the national ETS might help China take on environment modification.

A new research study has shown that China will incur a “significant yet manageable” stranded asset loss of $55bn (₤ 39bn) from 2020 to 2045 if its coal capability stabilises between 2020 and 2030. The researchers laid out the pathway of Chinas coal-fired power capability under a global 2C warming circumstance before determining those stranded coal-fired power plants with a “bottom-up” viewpoint. Chinese policymakers likewise face “no feasible solution” to make sure resource adequacy without adding brand-new coal power due to a “strong need development” in the next five years, Prof Yuan states.

Secret advancements.

CARBON PLAN: Xie Zhenhua has stated that China will “slowly release” a “top-level style plan” for its environment objectives. According to the outlet, Xie kept in mind that Chinas environment “leaders group” was leading the solution of a timetable and roadmap to help the country reach peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Risk assessment for typhoon-Induced seaside flooding and inundation in Shanghai, ChinaJGR Oceans.

Additional reading.

CARBON EMISSIONS: The Ministry of Ecology and Environment has stated that it was rolling out a “pilot programme” for assessing CO2 emissions in various provincial-level regions, Reuters reported. The objective is to “basically establish a working mechanism” for examining the environmental impact by carbon emissions by the end of 2021, the document says.

Mi informs Carbon Brief that Xies words mark an “improvement” of Chinas emission-reduction targets and symbolize that the curbing of non-CO2 gases is now a “necessary goal”. He adds that China formally accepted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in June to phase down its HFCs.

Other news.

HOW: Wu Changhua, an environment policy professional and vice chair of the governing council the of Asia Pacific Water Forum, tells Carbon Brief that a consensus has emerged that the magnifying climate change is “causing rising frequency, strength, severity and prolonged durations of extreme weather condition occasions– in specific, heavy rainfall and flooding– and extreme heatwaves and dry spell”. She includes: “The trickiest part of climate change is its dramatic disruption of the planets water cycle … When [the] temperature increases, the air holds more water vapour … Generally speaking, for 1C of warming, the air holds 7% more water vapour and extreme weather condition events increase twofold.”.

Destructive floods triggered by “record-breaking” rainfall have actually so far killed at least 99 individuals and affected more than 13.9 million in central Chinas Henan province, according to state media. The catastrophe– which came hard on the heels of floods in Germany and heatwave in North America– has triggered conversation worldwide. A professional has informed Carbon Brief that worldwide warming has intensified severe weather events, “in particular, heavy rainfall and flooding”..

PRESIDENT XI: Chinas President Xi advised officials in Tibet to protect the regional environment “well” during his very first official see to the self-governing area, CCTV reported. Xi explained the job as an action that could benefit “a thousand autumns” and nourish all beings “under the paradises”, according to the official channel.

WHERE: Xie issued the remarks in Beijing during a speech at a finance-management top on Saturday. His lengthy address touched upon other issues, consisting of the formulation of Chinas climate policy framework and the expense of hitting the nations climate objectives. [See details below in “Other News”.] Wang Jun, an emissions policy expert and analyst, said in a social networks post that Xies declaration on “carbon neutrality” may appear “undetectable”, however it confirmed the governments decision to suppress the emissions of “more than 2bn tonnes of non-CO2 gases in China”. Wang tells Carbon Brief that Xies words may likewise “dispel the doubts of numerous countries” about Chinas climate promises and promote the development of “relevant markets”.

A brand-new study has presented the first international carbon flux map and dataset with the help of the Chinese Global Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Scientific Experimental Satellite (TanSat). Launched in 2016, TanSat is Chinas first scientific experimental satellite for keeping track of the worldwide atmospheric CO2 material.

National Business Daily said that the severe weather event– which has actually been explained as occurring “once in a thousand years”– saw a years worth of rain falling onto Zhengzhou between 17-20 July, setting off severe flooding. State broadcaster CCTV said that at least 14 individuals lost their lives in the train and six individuals died in an expressway tunnel in Zhengzhou.

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In other places, 2 stories involving China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), Chinas biggest state-owned nuclear business, have actually attracted extensive attention. Wang tells Carbon Brief that Xies words may also “eliminate the doubts of numerous nations” about Chinas climate pledges and promote the advancement of “pertinent industries”.

CARBON PLAN: Xie Zhenhua has stated that China will “slowly release” a “high-level style plan” for its environment goals. According to the outlet, Xie noted that Chinas climate “leaders group” was leading the solution of a timetable and roadmap to help the country reach peak carbon emissions before 2030 and attain carbon neutrality before 2060. ETS: Chinas carbon market has seen more than 5.8 m tonnes of carbon emission allowances sold and purchased through the national emission trading plan (ETS) because its launch previously this month, reported Securities Daily.

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