US and China restart climate talks
John Kerry, the US climate envoy, arrived in Beijing yesterday to relaunch climate talks with China. During three days of talks, he and Xie Zhenhua, his Chinese counterpart, will look for ways to collaborate, despite the latent tensions.
China and the United States are the two biggest polluters of fossil fuels, combining to spew out about 40% of greenhouse gases. How quickly they reduce emissions and help other nations transition to clean energy will determine whether the planet can avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, analysts say.
Kerry wants to talk about three main issues:
Many observers are keeping expectations low for this meeting: Beijing, like most governments, does not like to give the impression of having been pressured into action. While Kerry wants to push China to set bigger goals, Beijing wants to focus on its existing goals and policies.
But the two countries could agree to regular meetings between the United States and China on climate change, which experts say would be a solid outcome. They could also lay the groundwork for bigger changes at the UN climate summit in Dubai in November.
Tensions: Talks have stalled since August, when Beijing froze high-level diplomatic engagement with the United States after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. Plans to resume talks were derailed earlier this year after a Chinese spy balloon floated over the United States
Commitments: The United States aims to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 50% this decade and stop adding them to the atmosphere by 2050. China has said its emissions will increase through 2030, before starting to decline and then stopping by 2060.
Good news: Both are roughly on track to meet their near-term goals, analysts said.
Rich countries should accelerate debt relief, says Yellen
Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, called on rich countries to help low-income countries with debt relief ahead of a meeting with other G20 finance ministers in Gandhinagar, India.
She cited a recent agreement between international creditors, including China, to help Zambia pay its debts. She said the agreement should be a model to use to help other countries, such as Sri Lanka, to accelerate debt relief and restore growth while benefiting the global economy.
Context: Yellen noted that more than half of low-income countries were in or near debt distress, double the 2015 total.
China targets Canadian politicians
Several Canadian politicians of Chinese origin who strongly criticized Beijing have seen their campaigns have been derailed as China expanded its reach into diaspora communities.
Canada has warned at least half a dozen current and former elected officials that they are being targeted by Beijing. In 2021, for example, Kenny Chiu was to be re-elected to Parliament. But ethnic Chinese voters turned against him after he criticized China’s human rights record. His campaign suddenly collapsed and he lost his bid.
Context: Chiu’s case is now under intense scrutiny after an extraordinary series of leaked intelligence reports showed evidence of Beijing’s interference in Canadian democracy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under increasing pressure to call for a public inquiry.
THE LAST NEWS
Texas is known for its love of football. But one the rapid growth of the South Asian population brought cricket in the fold.
The community has made the state the launching pad for the sport’s premier American professional league, Major League Cricket, whose inaugural season kicked off outside of Dallas last week.
Lives Lived: Jane Birkin, the British-born actress who inspired French fashion, died aged 76.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A vast demographic change
For decades, the world’s dominant powers have benefited from large working-age populations that help drive economic growth. In the developing world, young populations meant that resources were diverted to educating children, limiting economic opportunities.
But the demographic sweet spots of the world are changing rapidly. Aging populations in Europe and China will put a strain on social protection systems. In developing countries, a young workforce will contribute to economic growth. Soon, according to UN plans, the best balanced workforces will be found mainly in South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
These graphs show how the change to come could restore the global balance of power.
In Great Britain: The NHS, the beloved public health service, is inundated with elderly patients. It is now in the deepest crisis in its 75-year history.
Poland: The right-wing government does not want migrants, but the population is aging and the country needs workers. In a small village, 6,000 workers from Asia arrive build a new petrochemical plant.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
Chickpea-tomato salad Puttanesca is a simple bean salad you can eat all week.
What to read
In the novel “The good ones“, a professor investigates the disappearance of his friend.
What to watch
The film “20 days in Mariupolwhich chronicles Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian city, is “a relentless and truly important documentary”.