Saturday, August 28, 2021

GWPF Newsletter: Taliban go green and vow to help fight climate change


Will the Taliban attend COP26?

In this newsletter:

1) Taliban go green and vow to help fight climate change
Global Warming Policy Forum & Newsweek, 24 August 2021

2) Taliban vow to tackle climate change: Terror group sets out its eco credentials (presumably by taking Afghanistan back to the Middle Ages)
Daily Mail, 25 August 2021

3) Will the Taliban attend COP26?
The Spectator, 26 August 2021
4) Taliban now control one of the world’s largest lithium deposits
Free West Media, 18 August 2021

5) Allister Heath: Net Zero and wokery is bringing down the West
The Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2021

6) Vijay Jayaraj: India’s energy priorities are a major roadblock for Net Zero and COP26
GWPF Energy, 27 August 2021 
7) Tilak Doshi & C.S. Krishnadev: India’s energy policies and the Paris Agreement commitments
Real Clear Energy, 25 August 2021

8) And finally: China's provinces still planning over 100 GW of new coal projects 
Reuters, 25 August 2021

Full details:

1) Taliban go green and vow to help fight climate change
Global Warming Policy Forum & Newsweek, 24 August 2021

In an interview with Newsweek, a Taliban official has promised that the jihadist terror movement will become green activists, fighting climate change instead of women and infidels.


By promising to turn their green flag of Islamism into a green flag of climate-activism, the radical jihadists are likely to become the new darlings of Western reds and greens… although perhaps not as much loved as China’s ‘green’ communist leaders. 
By calling for global action on climate change the Taliban show that they are shrewd and know how to play the West’s witless leaders who have been completely outmanoeuvred and now face humiliation and a huge geopolitical power shift.
2) Taliban vow to tackle climate change: Terror group sets out its eco credentials (presumably by taking Afghanistan back to the Middle Ages)
Daily Mail, 25 August 2021

The Taliban has vowed to tackle climate change and global security as part of the terror group's attempt to rebrand itself and modernise despite reports of civilian executions and the erosion of women's rights under the new Afghan regime.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a member of the Taliban's Cultural Commission, says the Islamists want to play a role on the global stage.

He told Newsweek: 'We hope not only to be recognised by regional countries but the entire world at large as the legitimate representative government of the people of Afghanistan who have gained their right of self-determination from a foreign occupation with the backing and support of an entire nation after a prolonged struggle and immense sacrifices despite all odds being stacked against our people." 

'We believe the world has a unique opportunity of rapprochement and coming together to tackle the challenges not only facing us but the entire humanity.
'These challenges ranging from world security and climate change need the collective efforts of all, and cannot be achieved if we exclude or ignore an entire people who have been devastated by imposed wars for the past four decades.'

The comments come amid the Taliban's efforts to project a more moderate image, two decades after they were ousted from power in Afghanistan.

During their rule from 1996 to 2001, they committed massacres, eroded women's rights, burned vast areas of fertile land as part of its scorched earth policy, harboured terrorists and sold women into sex slavery as part of its harsh enforcement of Sharia law.

Despite their alleged climate change goals, the Taliban previously carried out heavy deforestation from an illegal timber trade.

Millions of acres of forests were cleared throughout the country to supply wood to the Pakistani markets with no reforestation efforts. 
Full story
3) Will the Taliban attend COP26?
The Spectator, 26 August 2021

Jaw-jaw is better than war war’ according to Churchill. And with the failure of last night’s G7 summit, diplomacy is the only option left to the West as its leaders come to terms with the Taliban’s triumph. Downing Street  has  denied reports that sanctions will be imposed on the new regime, with the billions of pounds in frozen Afghan assets overseas intended to be used as leverage.
And so Ed Davey’s much-mocked proposal of ‘tea with the Taliban’ has now become de-facto government policy as Britain desperately negotiates to evacuate refugees. Steerpike wonders what exciting role the militant Islamists will play in the wider international community.
One such outlet for its energies could be the United Nations, with the former American ambassador there John Bolton this week warning that the Taliban are now poised to seat a representative on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Elsewhere, attention has shifted to focus on the main diplomatic jamboree of the cocktails and canapés circuit: COP26. The forthcoming eco-shindig is due to be held in Glasgow in nine weeks time and is already being billed as the world’s ‘last chance’ to tackle climate change by American envoy John Kerry, purveyor of private jets and doomed presidential bids. 
Already there has been speculation in the Swedish media as to what role, if any, the Taliban will play in doing its bad to tackle climate change. An analysis piece by STV journalist Erika Bjerström asked the question everyone in Kabul wants answered now, writing: ‘It is not known what the new Taliban regime thinks about the issue of climate change or food production, nor is it known whether they are thinking of coming to COP26 in Glasgow.’

While No. 10 may be fully signed up to the green agenda, Mr S suspects the climate summit may be lower down the Taliban’s priority list…
4) Taliban now control one of the world’s largest lithium deposits
Free West Media, 18 August 2021

Taliban fighters not only took control of Kabul and the Afghan government on August 15. They also gained access to a gigantic deposit of minerals essential for renewable energies, possibly giving China an indisputable edge.

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance Limited report in 2020 highlighted China’s global dominance in the lithium-ion battery supply chain market, due to its grip on raw material mining and refining. In 2019, the US imported 80 percent of its rare earth minerals from China, while the EU states imported 98 percent of these materials from China.
China incidentally also shares a small border with Afghanistan called the Wakhan Corridor – 210km long. While the length of the border may appear insignificant, its location is crucial. Afghanistan is believed to have large deposits of gold, iron, copper, zinc, lithium and other rare earth metals, valued at over $1 trillion.
“Afghanistan may hold 60 million metric tons of copper, 2,2 billion tons of iron ore, 1,4 million tons of rare earth elements (REEs) such as lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, and veins of aluminium, gold, silver, zinc, mercury…” according to a 2020 report in The Diplomat.

But the Wakhan Corridor has been used by Islamic Uighur militants opposed to Chinese rule in Xinjiang. Chinese officials meeting with the newly installed Taliban are certainly aware of risk that radical Islamists pose: “We hope the Afghan Taliban will make a clean break with all terrorist organisations including ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) and resolutely and effectively combat them to remove obstacles, play a positive role and create enabling conditions for security, stability, development and cooperation in the region,” said a high-ranking Chinese official.

Why is this important?

Global demand for lithium is projected to increase 40-fold by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency, along with rare earth elements, copper, cobalt, and other minerals also abundant in Afghanistan. And these minerals happen to be concentrated in only a small number of pockets around the world.

The Bolivian Andes may contain 70 percent of the planet’s lithium and many analysts argue that extracting lithium from brine as in Bolivia is more environmentally friendly than extracting it from rock.

Interestingly, metallic lithium and its complex hydrides are used as high-energy additives to rocket propellants, thermonuclear weapons or even as a solid fuel.

In 2010, the US Department of Defense called Afghanistan “Saudi Arabia of lithium” after American geologists then discovered that the country’s deposits amounted to at least a trillion dollars. Lithium is an essential ingredient to produce long-lasting batteries used in electric cars in particular. The battery of a Tesla Model S, for example, has about 12 kilograms of lithium in it.

Ten years later, these metals have not yet been extracted. The Taliban is unlikely to sell the metal to Americans, and the United States views China, the world’s largest lithium producer, as its main rival. And the US wants at least 40 percent of its cars to be electric by 2030. Thus the previous US-led government in Kabul had hoped that the promise of mineral wealth would entice President Trump into making a commitment to stay in the country.

“Afghanistan can be an appropriate place for US industry, and specifically the mining sector, to look at opportunities for investment,” Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, the former chief adviser to Afghan president on infrastructure, human capital and technology, once opined.

But Tom Benson, a PhD in the Department of Geological Sciences at Stanford University, has focused his research on a 16,3 million-year-old super volcano on the Oregon-Nevada border which contains the largest lithium deposit in the United States. A number of other active volcanoes may hold the same deposits and there is a particularly “exciting” one, called Bogoslof, in Alaska. That may be why the US has lost interest in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban are now sitting on a stockpile of one of the most strategic minerals in the world,” said Rob Schoonover, an ecology expert at the US think tank Center for Strategic Risks, in an interview with Quartz. “The question of whether they will be able to play this role will be important in the future.”
Full story

5) Allister Heath: Net Zero and wokery is bringing down the West
The Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2021

We are hobbling ourselves with net zero and wokery, as our rivals grow rich while rejecting our values

So that’s it, then: British troops will be out within days, and the Americans shortly after. There will be no delay, no extra time to fly out more citizens or refugees, no pity. Why? Because the Taliban say so, and they, rather than Joe Biden, are now in charge of Afghanistan, free to terrorise it back to the stone age.

The West’s Kabul moment, unlike the Fall of Saigon in 1975 or Jimmy Carter’s Tehran hostage crisis in 1979, scenes of previous humiliations, is no false alarm. There will be no bounce-back, no miraculous renaissance: this time the North American-European-Australasian model really is in trouble, as the next stage of the 21st century’s great geopolitical and civilisational realignment begins in earnest.

In the coming years, there will be more Afghanistans: America may still boast the world’s most powerful army, but the West’s 320-year hegemony, which began when English GDP per capita finally overtook that of China’s Yangtze Delta in around 1700, is over. Other civilisations will become as rich and powerful, and sometimes more so, than ours, just as they were throughout recorded history. They too will want their spheres of influence; they too will want their values to prevail.

At least four mega-trends are conspiring to break the West’s grip on the world: the emergence of non-democratic capitalism; the misuse of technology; the net zero revolution; and America’s and Europe’s ideological decadence.

It used to be believed that the entire world would converge voluntarily on a Western model. We would wear the same clothes, drive the same cars and eat at McDonald’s. Capitalism would lead to the universal adoption of democracy, human rights and secularism, buttressed by institutions such as the UN: this Hegelian version of history was as deluded as the Marxist nonsense it replaced.

It was based on a series of intellectual errors, not least a denial of the West’s particular Jewish and Christian history, the latter recounted so brilliantly in Tom Holland’s Dominion, and a narcissistic, arrogant, ahistorical downplaying of other traditions. A corollary to this was the erroneous belief that adopting capitalism – a technology to deliver economic growth – had to mean also adopting individual liberty: one couldn’t pick and choose, because both emerged together in England and the Netherlands.

Terrifyingly for libertarian conservatives such as myself, this was wrong. The Western model can be disaggregated, as the Chinese have proved. Capitalism can easily coexist with tyranny; free markets don’t imply free speech. This means that the 21st century will be defined by a range of clashing civilisational models. There will be China, of course, and India, but also Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil and Nigeria as regional powers. Thanks to capitalism, they will become rich; but they won’t be Western. Some may be democracies, but in a very different sense to what we understand by it: India, for example, may well become far more explicitly Hindu nationalist.

The next big change is that the West is no longer putting economic growth first, while the emerging empires are still desperate to get rich. America and Europe’s embrace of net zero is largely driven by altruism: its proponents believe that poorer countries will suffer greater harm from climate change than wealthier nations. Yet many of these same nations are planning to make the most of the West’s green turn to reinforce their own rise.

China’s real agenda is to pick up new, clean technologies developed at great cost by the West on the cheap, allowing it to leap-frog America and Europe without crippling its own economy. Net zero will also unleash geopolitical chaos: how will Putin respond to the collapse in demand for gas? Could he push Nato and an unprepared, semi-pacifist EU beyond destruction?
The Gulf States are also likely to implode, creating a series of additional Afghanistan-like scenarios for America. Last but not least,by bolstering the importance of the rare earth metals such as lithium and cobalt required for new technologies, net zero will give China a dramatic boost. It has cleverly been seeking to corner the supply of these key 21st resources and is hoping to grab Afghanistan’s plentiful supplies.

Technology, and its misuse, represents the third great paradigm shift. In the West, social media in particular has had a catastrophic, corrosive impact on attention spans, the quality of discourse and, paradoxically, the ability to think freely. Bullying and hate are the norm, squeezing out reason, kindness and support for free speech. It has dramatically exacerbated tribalism and extremism.

At the same time, states now have more tools than ever before at their disposal to control their populations. Privacy, the best protection of the dissident, is dying. Everything we buy, read and every trip we make can be logged. For China, this is a dream come true. When all cars are electric and networked, the state could simply shut down the vehicles of opponents. When all currency is digital, dictators can track, control, tax and confiscate as they please. Combine all of that with massive progress in facial recognition and AI, and the outcome will be nightmarish. Authoritarian states will become ever harder to overthrow, further tipping the balance of power in their favour.

What of the West? Will we embrace a Chinese-style social credit system in the guise of fighting obesity or saving the planet, and in effect converge with our authoritarian rivals?

All of this takes us to the fourth mega-trend driving the West’s decline: we are turning our backs on the values that made us great. Support for capitalism is dwindling at the very time when every other society has embraced it, and many would rather see mob rule than the rule of law. In the US, the young are less likely to support democratic values than the old. There is growing scepticism about reason and the pursuit of truth. Universities are going back to their obscurantist roots, putting identity politics before knowledge. Many believe meritocracy has gone too far. We are even seeing a resurgence of neo-Lysenkoism, whereby politics trumps science.

The woke ideology is the greatest threat to freedom since communism, and it is gaining ground by the day, fragmenting and dividing society, and pitting group against group better to undermine the West. As Afghanistan burns, the rest of the world is looking on, and laughing at our stupidity.

6) Vijay Jayaraj: India’s energy priorities are a major roadblock for Net Zero and COP26
GWPF Energy, 27 August 2021

This November, political leaders from the West will attempt to formalise a more radical emission reduction strategy at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. However, with the growing opposition to Net Zero plans and other extreme emission reduction policies like the Green New Deal, the UN climate summit is unlikely to witness any significant or legally binding commitments from world’s biggest emitters.
Two nations that are likely to determine the success of the COP26 are India and China. Though under-represented in previous COPs, their presence is becoming increasingly important due to their unsatiable demand for cheap fossil fuels. China’s and India’s unwillingness to change the Paris Agreement and its emission reduction targets and the growing demand for fossil fuels from their respective domestic economies will make them less yielding to the Net Zero climate targets that the US, the UK and the EU is demanding.

Here are the main reasons why India’s energy priorities — of keeping coal as a cornerstone for its ambitious USD $5trillion GDP target — will force them to resist enforcement of stricter emission reduction policies.

Follow the data, not empty narratives

Mainstream media often promotes India as a global leader in renewable energy, claiming that it is leading the way in making the Paris agreement a success. But none of the popular news media tend to inform readers and viewers about India’s massive fossil fuel ambitions.
For example, in 2021, India’s home minister called for more investments in the country’s massive coal sector. He noted that coal is central to India’s future growth and that it will play a “significant role” in achieving the country’s USD $5 Trillion GDP target. This explicit remark, explaining the future of coal in the country’s economy, is hardly highlighted by the media which often tends to focus on the growing renewable installations in the country.

For an average news consumer who is never exposed to such stark reality of fossil fuel dependency, it would seem that India is reducing its fossil fuel consumption and switching to renewables. But that has not been the case, and the country’s fossil ambitions will pose a major hurdle for any global climate pact, including the outcome of the COP26.

India’s fossil fuel acceleration

Global energy experts know that India’s appetite for economic growth will drive the demand for fossil fuels, not just regionally but globally. The country’s recent investment decisions and policies are a testament to that. Coal account for more than 70% of all electricity generated in the country and India is confident that the coal sector will survive even if international funding for coal plants dries up. India has adopted an auction process to sell mining rights for the new coal fields in the country.
As per recent government data, the demand for coal mining fields have gone up. 35.5 million tonnes worth of coal were auctioned during April-July 2021, a 28.6 per cent increase over the same period in 2020. This helped India’s state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) to register a 87% increase in sales of coal mines (year-on-year).

CIL is eyeing one billion tonnes of coal production by 2023-24. CIL said that it is “expecting an improvement in cash flow with rising demand for coal and higher realisation from e-auction sales.” CIL has also “revised its capital expenditure budget to Rupees 13,115 crore for the 2020-21 fiscal (year) from its initial estimate of Rupees 10,000 crore.” A part of reason for CIL’s continued expansion and increased imports is the forecast for coal demand in the country.

The country’s steel industry alone demands a significant proportion of coal supply and drives the import of high-grade coking coal from countries like Australia. The Energy and Resources Institute says that “India’s steel demand is likely to more than quadruple in the next 30 years,” from around 111 million tonnes to 489 million tonnes. The state-run Steel Authority of India Limited–the country’s largest steel producer–has issued a global tender this month, inviting partnership for a long-term supply of coking coal.

Besides earmarking many coal mining fields for future production, the country is also keen in securing oil assets and trade deals to meet future demand. Energy reporter Rajshekhar points out that “India’s oil demand will double from 5.05 million barrels/day in 2020 to 10 million barrels/day by 2030. In the same period, gas demand will treble from the current 150 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) to 500 mmscmd……The country will also double its refining capacity from 250 million tons to 450-500 million tons by 2030.”

In response to these forecasts, India’s State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is privatizing operations. This month it announced privatisation of 43 oil and gas fields in order to boost production and cut reliance on imported oil and gas.

India likely to safeguard its energy future at COP26
Given the inescapable reality of fossil fuel dependency, India has already expressed its displeasure towards the proposed carbon border tax plans by Western countries.

In June 2021, India’s then Environment Minister and key cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar said that India won’t give into carbon pressure. Speaking on the Carbon taxation plans, Javadekar said, “It is the most regressive proposal with no principle of equity adhered to…..This is unfair taxation, nobody will accept it.” He noted that not only have countries not paid the promised climate funds but also failed in their own emission reduction targets.
It is also likely that India will raise the issue of per capita emissions at the COP26 meeting. India’s per capita emissions are much lower than the global average and it is believed that the country will use it as a moral pedestal to resist the enforcement of extreme carbon taxation policies on its struggling economy.

Most likely, COP26 will be another climate summit where empty promises on CO2 emission reduction and climate funds will be proposed in principle but will never be adopted or honored by the participating countries. India, especially, will be steadfast in guarding its rights to access affordable and abundant fossil fuel sources that play a quintessential part in running the country’s economic engine.

see also the GWPF’s coverage of India’s climate & energy debates

7) Tilak Doshi & C.S. Krishnadev: India’s energy policies and the Paris Agreement commitments
Real Clear Energy, 25 August 2021
Climate change models that purport to predict an impending apocalypse lack credibility in the eyes of many in the developing countries, where the real environmental problems are inherently associated with poverty and the lack of economic development.
As we approach the UN climate body’s Conference of Parties (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November, the drive by the UN’s climate body to push the world’s major developing countries to adopt increasingly ambitious “decarbonization” policies as part of the Paris Agreement has intensified. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry called on China—the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), by far—to do more. Referring to China’s “staggering amount of fossil fuel use,” China’s Nationally Determined Commitments (NDC) to peak its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030 under the Paris Agreement and its more recent promise of “carbon neutrality” by 2060 are not enough, according to Kerry.

As the world’s third-largest emitter of GHGs, India is under similar diplomatic and political pressure in international forums dominated by the EU, as well as the U.S. Biden administration, which have made climate policy a centerpiece in their international relations. Despite having the sixth-largest economy in the world—with a burgeoning middle class and world-leading industries, ranging from software services to pharmaceuticals—India still remains a poor country.

With a gross national income per capita of $1,900 in 2020, India is in the group of countries ranked as “lower middle income.” For comparison, the world average is $11,550; China’s is somewhat lower than the world average, at $10,610; and the high-income countries earned a per-capita GNI of $46,040. India’s per-capita consumption of electricity was estimated at just over 850 KWh at the beginning of 2020, or just 7.3% of U.S. per-capita consumption and 20% of China’s average. A recent survey found that 13% of India’s households lack access to grid electricity.

India’s economy is heavily dependent on fossil fuels—particularly coal. In 2020, fossil fuels accounted for almost 90% of the country’s primary energy consumption, and coal alone accounted for almost 55%. Coal is the mainstay of India’s power sector, accounting for just over 72% of total power generation in 2020. Renewable energy (which includes solar, wind, and modern biofuels but excludes hydro) accounted for less than 10%.

Wind and solar power generation have grown rapidly but from small bases. Solar generation grew in during 2009–19 by an impressive 90% compound annual rate, with an absolute increase of 46 terawatt hours (TWh). Wind grew by almost 15% annually, with an increase of 44 TWh over the same period; coal, accounting for the bulk of power generation, as already noted, grew by an annual 6.3%. Given the size of its contribution to total power generation, however, it accounted for an increase of 514 TWh. Unsurprisingly, coal will continue to play a major role in India’s rapid electrification to support robust economic growth. Indeed, while India plans significant renewable energy investments, its mainstay will include a major push in coal, oil, and natural gas utilization to support continued economic growth ambitions.

India’s ambitions for expanding the role of renewable energy have been a staple in the mass media, and recent headlines hailed the country’s achievement in having reached renewable energy capacity of 100 GW, making it the world’s fourth-largest in installed “green” capacity. On India’s 75th Independence Day (August 15), Prime Minister Modi tweeted in caps: “INDIA HAS SET THE GOAL OF 450 GW OF RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR 2030. OUT OF THIS, WE HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED 100 GW TARGET WELL WITHIN SCHEDULE.” Big business in India also announced plans for large investments in the sector. Reliance Industries pledged to invest ₹75,000 crore (approximately US$10 billion) in “clean energy,” becoming the latest Indian oil company to announce a major push into renewable projects, including solar cells, hydrogen, fuel cells, and battery grids.

Yet glowing headlines about India’s achievements and ambitions to leapfrog into a new age of clean energy while being a “fair participant” in the Paris Agreement say little about the country’s dismal state of affairs in its power sector. A recent ratings agency report noted the massive and soaring losses of power-distribution companies due to limited tariff hikes and high interest payments on ballooning debt. This week, for instance, Rajasthan’s power utility company ran out of cash to pay for coal and to keep the state’s power plants running. It shut down 1,200 MW of capacity in mid-August, and another 1,500-MW power station faces a shutdown.

India’s power sector has long suffered multiple constraints on cash flow, facing political compulsion to accommodate subsidized power (often free) for agriculture, labor unions blocking privatization efforts, inability to hike tariffs to reflect input cost increases, and theft and line losses aggravated by poorly maintained infrastructure and deficient “last-mile” metering. Additionally, the costs of integrating intermittent solar and wind power into India’s creaky power sector have come under little scrutiny. In particular, the exemption for solar and wind power to access the grid without reference to merit-order dispatch rules, giving renewable energy a “must-run” preference, has further undermined the economics of state utility companies.

Global demand for fossil fuels shows no indication of slowing and will continue to grow for decades as developing countries aim to grow as rapidly as possible to meet the aspirations of their citizens. This view was perhaps most forthrightly articulated by Raj Kumar Singh, India’ s electric power minister. He called the “net-zero by 2050” mantra pushed by the EU and the U.S. under the Biden administration as “pie in the sky” and commented: “You have 800 million people who don’t have access to electricity. You can’t say that they have to go to net-zero. They have the right to develop—they want to build skyscrapers and have a higher standard of living; you can’t stop it.” Despite the widespread hype on renewable energy and electric vehicles, it is highly unlikely that energy policies in the major developing countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Indonesia will be determined by the climate zealots in Washington, London, Paris, or Berlin.

Only eight of the G20 countries have submitted more ambitious climate targets (as they are required to do every five years, under the 2015 Paris Agreement). India, along with China, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Australia, is among the countries yet to do so. In its first (and, to date, only) NDC, India committed to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33%–35% by 2030, from a 2005 baseline, and to achieve about 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from nonfossil fuel–based energy resources by 2030. These commitments are not legally binding on signatories except for those countries (such as the UK) that have further legislated such targets within their own countries.
India registered its NDC on the assumption that low-cost international finance and grants from the developed countries would be forthcoming at a scale deemed adequate for such “decarbonization” commitments.
India and China, along with other major developing countries such as Brazil and Indonesia, have consistently argued that industrialized nations were able to become wealthy before CO2 reductions were called for and that developing economies cannot be expected to make sacrifices that would put their legitimate aspirations for economic development at risk. India’s environment minister, Bhupender Yadav, said that “given the legitimate need of developing countries to grow, we urge G20 countries to commit to bring down per capita emissions to global average by 2030.”

Further complicating India’s participation, as well as that of other developing countries, in the upcoming COP26 conference is the threat of carbon content–based import tariffs by the EU and the U.S. Carbon tariffs risk contravening WTO rules and may lead to the further unraveling of a liberal trading order that has been in place since World War II.

In a stirring speech at the plenary session of the UN Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi famously said that “poverty is the worst form of pollution.” It would seem that India’s policymakers would be remiss if their ambitions to help their citizens achieve higher standards of living were to be sacrificed for alarmist arguments of an alleged “climate crisis.” Climate change models that purport to predict an impending apocalypse lack credibility in the eyes of many in the developing countries, where the real environmental problems are inherently associated with poverty and the lack of economic development.

8) And finally: China's provinces still planning over 100 GW of new coal projects 
Reuters, 25 August 2021

SHANGHAI, Aug 25 (Reuters) - China's provinces are still planning to launch more than 100 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity despite a decline in new approvals in the first half of 2021, environmental group Greenpeace said on Wednesday.
Local planning agencies approved 24 new coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 5.2 GW in the first six months of 2021, Greenpeace said.
The figure is down nearly 80% from a year earlier, when new projects surged to help China's post-lockdown recovery, but it puts total planned capacity on China's provincial project lists at 104.8 GW, it said - enough to power the whole of the United Kingdom.
Full story

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