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Climate Suffering and Its Complications

This week, the climate crisis became a lot more concrete. Heatwaves and fire across North America overlapped with massive floods in Germany and China. I say ‘concrete’ but of course climate change has been pretty concrete for millions of climate refugees across the Global South for a while ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Reading the Smoke

As things slowly settle down in South Africa after the last ruinous week, the debates about who’s really to blame are catching fire. It’s now being called an insurrection attempt, and President Ramaphosa has referred to those responsible for fueling the protests as ‘enemies of democracy.’ One of the problems underlying the current crisis is that he’s both right and wrong. South Africa is indeed, as Ramaphosa called it, a ‘hard-fought-for democracy.’ ...

New Guidelines Suggest Chinese Government Wants Companies to Be Greener When Investing Abroad

The Chinese government appears to be taking much more concrete steps in promoting more environmentally sustainable foreign direct investment. Two of the country's largest ministries, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Environment and Ecology, jointly published ...

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 ...

China’s Distant-Water Fishing and Its Impact in West Africa

In recent years, China’s distant-water fishing (DWF) has expanded rapidly, particularly off the coast of West Africa, attracting the attention of NGOs and the international community. In April 2020, the Chinese government began to implement significantly stricter Regulations on the Management of Distant Water Fisheries. The new ...

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, ...

Sierra Leone’s Fishing Minister: ‘There Must Be Development’

The deal between the government of Sierra Leone and Chinese entities to build an industrial fishing harbor on 100 hectares of beach and rainforest reads like a textbook example of why China remains so unpopular among many African communities, even as its relationship with African governments goes ...

Ghanaian Rosewood is Showing Up in China But No One’s Really Sure How It’s Getting There

Ghana's former Lands Minister, Inusah Fuseini, acknowledged that despite the ban on rosewood exports that he imposed when he was in office, large quantities of the precious timber are being smuggled to China, but he just doesn't seem to know how traffickers are getting away with it. ...

When It Comes to Deforestation, There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around

The NGO collective Forests and Finance released a new study today showing that investments by Chinese banks make it the world’s second-largest funder of projects linked to tropical deforestation.   Analyzing data from financial databases and company publications, the study found that between 2016 and 2020, Chinese ...

The U.S.’s Blue Dot Network vs. China’s Belt & Road Initiative

In the run-up to last Friday's U.S.-Japan summit at the White House, there had been a lot of talk that President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga would announce a new initiative to challenge China's Belt and Road Initiative.
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