Top Chinese, US officials to continue trade talks: Xinhua

This photo taken on August 1, 2017 shows a man walking out of a roadside grocery store in Beijing. (AFP)
Updated 24 March 2018

Top Chinese, US officials to continue trade talks: Xinhua

BEIJING: China’s top economic official Liu He spoke by phone with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday and “agreed to continue to communicate” on trade issues, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The call came at a time of heightened tensions after US President Donald Trump on Thursday authorized tariffs on as much as $60 billion of Chinese imports, targeting sectors in which Washington says Beijing has stolen American technology.
Liu He, a Harvard-educated Communist Party official who was elevated on Monday to the key role of vice premier, is expected to oversee China’s financial and economic sectors.
On the phone, he accused a US investigation of violating international trade rules and told Mnuchin that Beijing was ready to defend its interests, Xinhua said.
“China is ready to defend its national interests and hopes that both sides will remain rational and work together to safeguard the overall stability of China-US economic and trade relations,” Xinhua cited Liu as saying.
China warned the US on Friday that it was “not afraid of a trade war” as it threatened tariffs on $3 billion worth of US goods in retaliation to Trump’s new measures.
It unveiled a hit list of products from fresh fruit to pork that could face duties of up to 25 percent, though it stopped short of pulling the trigger as it indicated its readiness to negotiate an agreement.
In August, the US formally launched a trade investigation into China’s intellectual property practices and the forced transfer of US technology under Section 301 of US trade law, which addresses intellectual property.


Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

Updated 30 May 2020

Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

  • The energy agency’s head is under pressure to align its policies with the 2015 Paris accord goals

LONDON: Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), faced renewed calls to take a bolder stance on climate change on Friday from investors concerned the organization’s reports enable damaging levels of investment in fossil fuels.

In an open letter, investor groups said an IEA report on options for green economic recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic, due out in June, should be aligned with the 2015 Paris accord goal of capping the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

The more than 60 signatories included the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, whose members have €30 trillion ($33.42 trillion) of assets under management, scientists and advocacy group Oil Change International.

“Bold, not incremental, action is required,” the letter said.

The Paris-based IEA said it appreciated feedback and would bear the letter’s suggestions in mind. It also said it had been recognized for leading calls on governments to put clean energy at the heart of their economic stimulus packages.

“We have backed up that call with a wide range of analysis, policy recommendations and high-level events with government ministers, CEOs, leading investors and thought leaders,” the IEA said.

Birol has faced mounting pressure in the past year from critics who say oil, gas and coal companies use the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO) annual report to justify further investment — undermining the Paris goals.

Birol has dismissed the criticism, saying the WEO helps governments understand the potential climate implications of their energy policies, and downplaying its influence on investment decisions.

FASTFACT

1.5°C

The 2015 Paris accord aims to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

But campaigners want Birol to overhaul the WEO to chart a more reliable 1.5C path. The world is on track for more than double that level of heating, which would render the planet increasingly uninhabitable, scientists say.

The joint letter followed similar demands last year, and was published by Mission 2020, an initiative backed by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.