Biden-Xi summit could be the spark COP28 badly needs for success
Plus, the rise of floatovoltaics has solar advocates excited about China.
In today’s edition:
— COP28 needs a spark this year. Could a U.S.-China deal be the answer?
— On the Biden-Xi summit menu: China’s mounting muscle in renewables
— A green triple hit - the rising potential of floatovoltaics
— How the steel industry could provide an emissions free blueprint for oil and gas
— The plastics summit in Nairobi this week is near a deal for a new product - plastic offsets
— The ozone hole came in thinner than in the past, but not by much
The Fifth National Climate Assessment, the U.S. government’s preeminent report on climate change impacts, risks, and responses, was just released. The figure above shows how changes in multiple aspects of climate are apparent in every U.S. region. The five maps present observed changes for five temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise metrics.
The Biden Administration is playing down the possibility of any major deals coming out of President Joe Biden’s meeting with Xi Jinping here in San Francisco Wednesday, but any sign of a thaw in relations tied to technology or to trading in solar or electric vehicles could shake up climate finance just in time for the COP28 summit in Dubai in two weeks.
Investors are looking specifically for a sign that U.S. restrictions on Chinese solar panels and the importing of its electric vehicles might ease, though even some indication that China is opening back up to U.S. tech investment might be enough to shift what has been a sluggish momentum going into the United Nations summit.
China is by far the largest player in the global renewables game, leading in electric vehicles, solar, and wind power in terms of investment and roll out, despite also being the largest consumer of oil and gas (read more in our insight below). Most international efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change can’t go anywhere without the two biggest players, the U.S. and China (India is third).
A rapprochement could also send a powerful signal to the U.S. investors, who are riding a bullish wave the last few weeks in hopes that tech stocks and an improving interest rate scenario can push stocks higher into the year end. Xi is taking special time on this trip to meet with U.S. tech CEOs, in a sign that he wants to encourage investment back in China again.
Geopolitical relations move slowly among superpowers, with sudden periods of momentum offset by long droughts in communications and bad feelings. That we might be on the cusp of even a modest resumption in U.S.-China relations could create a wave of good feeling that might even lead to a better result from negotiations at COP28 in Dubai. That’s what is at stake on Wednesday.
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