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Stop the Blame Game: The Complex Picture of China and Coal Finance

By Hugo Jones and Lukas Fiala Apocalyptic images reach us from China this week. The immense flooding in Henan province has come with tragic human cost, a typhoon has edged onto China’s eastern coast, and Shanghai is facing torrential rains and winds. These events have already stirred discussions ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Chinese Companies’ “Eat Bitter” Management Style Just Doesn’t Work in Africa

Forget debt traps, Huawei ‘back-doors’ and vaccine diplomacy. They might be the disputes that define our current polarized moment. But I’m willing to bet they won’t have the staying power of the one – the original – dispute that has haunted Chinese engagement with Africa since the late 1990s: labor.

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A Lot of People Mistakenly Think China’s The Major Funder of Coal Plants Around the World. New BU Report Says That’s Not the Case.

China is indeed the largest government funder of coal power projects around the world, accounting for 50% of coal projects that reached financial closure between 2013 and 2018, according to a new policy brief from Boston University's Global Development Policy Center.

ICBC Bails on Financing $3 Billion Sengwa Coal Power Plant in Zimbabwe

Environmental groups in Zimbabwe are celebrating the news that China's largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has decided not to fund the controversial $3 billion Sengwa coal-fired power plant. This a milestone decision since ...

The Impact of China’s Financing for Coal on Climate Change and Agriculture in Africa

Back in September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced China would aim for carbon neutrality by 2060, followed by setting more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for 2030. Such bold commitments appeared to reflect Beijing progressing towards adopting climate-friendly policies, premised on low-carbon and renewable technologies. ...

Report: The Belt and Road Is Becoming Greener as China Backs Away From Financing Coal Power Projects

China has a well-deserved reputation for being the financier of choice for coal-powered energy projects around the world. While many other development finance agencies have backed away in recent years from underwriting heavily polluting power plants, China seemingly went the other way.

China’s Largest Commercial Bank Says It Plans to Phase Out Financing Coal Projects

The chief economist at China's largest bank, the International Commercial Bank of China, and one of the world's largest financiers of fossil fuel projects said the bank will begin to phase out support for coal power projects.  Zhou Yueqiu told a ...

The Other Side of Agency

Last week I ran into a friend who’s a media studies scholar. We caught up about our work – she’s busy with a paper about the media representation of face masks. What am I working on? A paper on China’s provision of coal-powered electricity in Africa. Oh, ...

Conservatives in the U.S. Say Biden’s Energy Policies Would Expose the U.S. to Become “Dependent Upon China and Its Client States in the Congo”

Apparently, the Democratic Republic of Congo is a "client state" of the Chinese government, or at least according to the latest meme to emerge on conservative U.S. media sites like Fox News. China's dominance in the DRC cobalt mining sector is prompting some to worry that a ...

Qatar and Saudi Arabia Both Place Long Term Bets on China

With oil and gas demand in the U.S. and Europe expected to fall dramatically in the years ahead as both regions embrace a post-carbon economy, two of the world's largest energy exporters, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are now looking to China to fill the void. Ministers and ...

Start Imagining a Post-Carbon China, and Africa

Chinese total carbon emissions could peak by 2028, with emissions coming from the electricity sector topping out as early as 2025. This is according to Liu Zhenya, who runs the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, a Beijing-based think tank. Liu’s previous job is maybe more ...

U.S., European Claims That the BRI Is in Trouble Are Way Overblown, Says Prominent Chinese Scholar

The sharp drop in Chinese overseas development finance lending documented by Boston University's Center for Global Policy Development among others has prompted critics of Beijing's Belt and Initiative in the United States and Europe to suggest that the massive global trade agenda is in trouble. 
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