Sunday, January 22, 2017

As U.S. Cedes Leadership on Climate, Others Step Up at Davos - The New York Times

A coal-fired power plant on the outskirts of Beijing. China's retreat from plans to build dozens of additional plants has raised hopes it is serious about clean energy. (Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
Over four days of intense politicking and parleying at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual gathering in the Swiss Alps where global policy and business leaders debate the world’s challenges, the sizable Chinese delegation seemed to preach climate action every chance it got.

President Xi Jinping of China set the tone by opening the forum on Tuesday,  arguing forcefully for follow-through on the 2015 Paris climate deal. His message was clearly relayed through the Chinese ranks:
  • Mr. Qiao boasted that 70 percent of the 100 billion renminbi, or $14.6 billion, that China Guodian paid into new investments last year went to renewables like wind and solar.
  • Yu Xubo, president of the Chinese food and agriculture giant Cofco, stunned environmental groups by announcing that the company would eliminate deforestation from its supply chain.  “Continue business as usual,” he warned, “and face big, serious risks.”
  • Nur Bekri, China’s energy minister, was blunt in acknowledging not only climate change but also the human contribution to it — a declaration unlikely to be heard by certain members of Mr. Trump’s administration.
“Today, we are facing climate change, and we know this is caused by our use of energy,” Mr. Bekri declared.  “That is why the Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of clean energy.”

Read more at As U.S. Cedes Leadership on Climate, Others Step Up at Davos

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