Climate

An aerial view shows snow-covered terraced fields and houses in Congjiang county, in China's southwestern Guizhou province on 22 January 2024. (AFP)

China’s 'Two Mountains' framework: Varied responses from Southeast Asia

China has long been propagating its “Two Mountains” concept and has expanded it into the Green Silk Road concept as a sustainable climate governance framework. But many Southeast Asian countries have tailored the concept according to their own needs.
Climate activists protest after a draft of a negotiation deal was released, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 13 December 2023. (Rula Rouhana/Reuters)

China has reasons to smile about the COP28 climate summit

Erik Baark takes stock of China’s gains at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023. The status of China in the negotiations was clearly enhanced by the compromise achieved by the US and China with the Sunnylands Statement in November 2023. On the difficult matter of establishing an international consensus on the approach to fossil fuels, China also seems to have found room to manoeuvre in the call for countries to commit to “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems”.
Wind turbines are pictured near Heide, Germany, on 11 September 2023. (Daniel Roland/AFP)

Can the EU and China navigate their dispute over critical raw materials and clean energy technologies?

In the ever-evolving landscape of global geopolitics, worsening climate change impacts and the need to accelerate the clean energy transition, the contest for critical raw materials and renewable energy technologies has emerged as a focal point of contention between the European Union (EU) and China. The upcoming EU-China summit in Beijing on 5 and 6 December offers an opportunity to address their disagreements.
People involved in climate activism hold a demonstration in the Financial District of Manhattan to demand an end to fossil fuel funding by Wall Street and the American government on 18 September 2023 in New York City, US. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Can the US and China solve the climate crisis for us?

US-China pledges to work together on climate action have been all too familiar, throughout times of changing US administrations and tense US-China relations. Even as cajoling each power to take more action has its limits, the greater danger is a global green technology war that punishes the global south.
People crossing the street in front of the Paramount Global headquarters in Times Square, New York City, 8 August 2023. (Michael M. Santiago/AFP)

The global south and global north: Where does Singapore belong?

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang notes the gap between the global north and global south, with more affluent countries not delivering on promises and commitments made to less developed countries. Is there hope of reconciling the strong and the weak?
People participate in the 2023 NYC Pride March in Manhattan, New York, on 25 June 2023. (David Dee/Reuters)

Why first-gen Chinese immigrants in the US detest white progressive ideals

Issues such as gender diversity and environmental protection seem to be too abstract for first-generation Chinese immigrants in the US, who see these problems as having no impact on day-to-day life. US academic Wu Guo mulls over the reasons why this group of new immigrants, for all their desires to be part of the American education system, is a staunch detractor of progressive ideals that are part and parcel of the system itself.
A BYD Co. Dolphin electric vehicle at the Smart China Expo in Chongqing, China, on 4 September 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Is China's EV rise a true success?

The EV adventure in China has been successful in some respects, not least with 5.9 million EVs sold on the Chinese market, amounting to 59% of EVs sold globally. However, as a means to reduce climate change, the effort has tended to “put the cart in front of the horse”, because EVs are not particularly environmentally friendly without a steady stream of renewable electricity supply. Academic Erik Baark lays out the factors involved.
A rescuer is helping a resident to get on a vehicle in Zhuozhou on 1 August 2023.

How a 140-year flood caught Beijing and nearby cities off guard

After experiencing the hottest June on record for the city, Beijing is now witnessing the most rainfall in the 140 years since records began. How did Typhoon Doksuri bring the prolonged heavy rainfall to northern China thousands of kilometres away from its landing point?
Chinese flags and pedestrians reflected in a window in Shanghai, China, on 2 June 2023. (Raul Ariano/Bloomberg)

DPM Heng Swee Keat: The world needs to build new global architecture together

In his keynote address at the Caixin Asia New Vision Forum, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the US and China can still step away from confrontation and conflict, and both sides must do so by building strategic trust. Meanwhile, Asia and the rest of the world must also take active steps to bring about greater collaboration. Together, countries can work to bring about a new global architecture that promotes inclusive and sustainable development. This is an edited version of his speech.