Climate

This aerial photo taken on 21 July 2022 shows a bucket wheel machine tranferring coal at a coal storage centre in Jiujiang, in China's central Jiangxi province. (AFP)

Sichuan power crunch sparks calls for rethink of coal in China's energy mix

Extreme weather and declining water levels at hydropower reservoirs in Sichuan are sparking worries of a power crunch across China. This has forced electricity cuts to businesses and households in the province of 84 million people, along with loud calls for a rethink of coal in the nation’s energy mix, putting a spanner in the works of its goal to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.
This photo taken on 16 August 2022 shows a section of a parched riverbed along the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China. (AFP)

Electricity woes further dampen China’s hopes of economic recovery

While China has yet to emerge from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and its ailing real estate sector, power shortages caused by severe weather conditions are adding to its woes. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more about the severity of the power crunch, and its far-reaching impact across regions and industries.
Foreign tourists walk past a banner of the G20 for the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesia resort island of Bali on 14 July 2022. (Sonny Tumbelaka/Pool/AFP)

Indonesia’s G20 presidency: Carving out a path for developing countries' representation

Amid a world shaken by global events, President Jokowi has done his fair share of shuttle diplomacy in the lead-up to the G20 Summit in Bali later this year. While Indonesia has the potential to play an intermediary role among global powers, it remains circumspect and looks to push forward the G20 agenda in incremental and achievable steps.
A welder works on an overpass on the Irving Interchange infrastructure project at the site of the former Dallas Cowboys Stadium on 10 August 2022 in Irving, Texas, US. (John Moore/Getty Images/AFP)

G7’s global infrastructure and investment drive: Not so attractive for Southeast Asia

The Group of Seven’s new infrastructure and investment drive seeks to provide what Southeast Asia needs, such as financing for hard infrastructure. However, ISEAS academic Chanrith Ngin believes that the need for multiple stakeholders and financing issues might not garner much buy-in from the region, and some countries may opt out to avoid being caught in the geopolitical competition between China and the US.
Members of social organisations demonstrate after camping overnight at Plaza de Mayo square in front of Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires on 11 August 2022, during a protest demanding better wages and more jobs and a meeting with Argentina's new economy minister Sergio Massa. Argentina has suffered years of economic crisis, with some 37% of its population now living in poverty. Inflation for the first half of this year alone topped 36%. (Luis Robayo/AFP)

Can the world survive these six crises?

Economics professor Zhang Rui identifies the main crises faced by global economies today, their various effects, and how they are interrelated. How will governments handle these challenges and work together to ease the impact of what seems to be a perfect storm of negative factors?
Commuters walk past a Fight Dengue banner at an MRT station in Singapore on 15 May 2020. (SPH Media)

When a Singaporean tries fighting mosquitoes in Beijing

Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan recounts her experience in keeping her residential compound safe from potentially harmful mosquitoes. While mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent in some countries such as Singapore, the local Chinese would find it rather unusual in their part of the world, leaving one to reflect how different environments breed different concerns.
This photo taken on 2 July 2022 shows coal loaded on trains at a coal plant in Huaibei, in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

A happy birthday to China’s national emissions trading scheme

Erik Baark points out some of the peculiarities of China’s emissions trading system (ETS) with Chinese characteristics on its one-year anniversary. Going forward, will the Chinese ETS gradually morph into an ETS in the likes of the EU ETS as it works towards meeting its dual carbon ambitions?
This photo taken on 22 September 2021 shows fishermen on their boat as smoke rises from chimneys at the Suralaya coal power plant in Cilegon. (Ronald Siagian/AFP)

In Indonesia, Chinese financing for coal-fired power plants grows faster than that for renewables

On the one hand, China’s potential in helping Indonesia make the clean energy transition has been spoken about, but on the other, China continues to be a big player in perpetuating non-renewable energy use such as in coal-fired power plants. Looking ahead, can they be a larger contributor in Indonesia’s efforts to derive 23% of Indonesia’s primary energy needs from renewable sources by 2025? Malaysian academics Guanie Lim and Goh Chun Seng tell us more.
A Chinese flag flutters near people lining up to get tested at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site, amid Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, 18 May 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Why Xi Jinping's bold experiments with socialism are commendable

While China’s market-based socialism with Chinese characteristics has lifted many out of poverty, creating the Chinese miracle, the ills of abiding by the “laws of the market” should be tackled and reined in. In the ever-evolving model of new socialism, a mechanism needs to be established that can raise and maintain a good standard of living in the absence of economic growth. This is so that people can transcend the pursuit of the material and live their lives with meaning and purpose.