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China calls for accelerating clean energy development at COP28

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Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang has called on the world to actively increase the proportion of renewable energy and accelerate green transformation in the global fight against climate change.

Ding, also Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative, made the remarks Friday while addressing the World Climate Action Summit at the ongoing 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP28 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

More than 70,000 delegates from around the world have gathered in Dubai for the annual climate meeting scheduled from November 30 to December 12, where for the first time the world assesses how far off track it is to curb global warming.

A UN report released in late November shows that countries’ current pledges would put the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.5 degrees Celsius – 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, leaving the central goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement – 1.5 degrees Celsius – out of reach.

Ding stressed that mankind shares a common destiny in the face of the challenges from climate change, and all parties should strengthen their determination and capacity to jointly address it.

He put forward a three-point proposal. The first is to practice multilateralism, adhere to the goals and principles set out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, enhance solidarity and cooperation, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

The second is to accelerate green transformation, actively increase the proportion of renewable energy, promote the clean, low-carbon and efficient use of traditional energy, and accelerate the formation of green and low-carbon production methods and lifestyles.

The third is to strengthen action implementation and fully honor the existing commitments. In particular, developed countries should effectively increase financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries to turn vision into reality.

As a major responsible developing country, China stands ready to work with all parties to build a clean and beautiful world, he said.

China’s efforts in combating climate change

China has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, incorporating carbon emission reduction goals into the overall planning of economic and social development.

The 2023 annual report on China’s policies and actions to address climate change shows that the country’s carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP dropped by more than 51 percent in 2022 from its 2005 level.

While carbon intensity in the economy drops fast, efforts on afforestation have also put the national forest coverage rate in China at 24.02 percent in 2022, increasing the ability to capture and store carbon.

In addition, with total installed generation capacity of renewable energy reaching 1,213 gigawatts in 2022, China has become a global leader in utilizing green and low-carbon energy sources.

The country has ranked first in the world for eight consecutive years in production and sales of new energy vehicles. By the end of June this year, the number of new energy vehicles nationwide reached 16.2 million.

China, as a global leader in renewable energy expansion, is a powerhouse that has the ability to triple renewable power generation globally, COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber told China’s Xinhua News Agency recently.

“China is key in the decarbonization of the energy we use today,” he said, noting that more than three-quarters of the world’s solar panels, around 60 percent of the world’s wind turbines, and three-quarters of the lithium-ion batteries on this planet come from China.

At the same time, China is actively promoting international cooperation on addressing climate challenges and has been deeply engaged in South-South cooperation.

As of June 2023, the country has signed 46 memorandums of understanding on climate change with 39 developing countries, launched over 70 climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, and helped train more than 2,300 officials and technicians from over 120 developing countries, according to a report by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

In November, China and the United States released the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis, reaffirming their commitment to work together and with other countries to address the climate crisis.

Over the years, China has also been promoting cooperation on climate change under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework, providing support for other developing countries to improve their abilities in dealing with climate change.

Source(s): CGTN

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Iraqi Shiite militia says calm with U.S. forces ‘temporary tactic’

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The leader of an Iraqi Shiite militia said Sunday that the current period of calm among Iraqi armed groups in their conflict with the U.S. forces is a “temporary tactic” and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has not abandoned its support for the Palestinians.

Akram al-Kaabi, secretary general of the Iranian-backed al-Nujaba Movement, said in a statement that the current calm is only a tactic for repositioning and deployment. “It is only the calm before the storm.”

He said that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq “is an essential part in the battle to confront the Zionist aggression (the Israeli military campaign) and its supporter America against the Gaza Strip.”

Al-Kaabi also said that there is high-level coordination between different “open fronts” against the Americans and Israelis in the region, stressing that “any calm on one front and ignition on another is an intentional, purposeful and coordinated strategy.”

“Although the Islamic resistance did not reject the government’s negotiations to schedule the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, we affirm that the U.S. occupier is a liar, a deceiver and an arrogant one,” the statement said.

Days after fighting broke out between the Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip on October 7, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched rocket, drone and mortar attacks on military bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria.

On January 27, Iraq and the U.S. began the first round of dialogue to discuss ending the U.S.-led international coalition’s mission in Iraq, but later three U.S. soldiers were killed in an attack on a U.S. base near Jordan’s border with Syria. The U.S. said the attack was carried out by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella term for pro-Iran Shiite Islamic armed groups in Iraq.

The death of the U.S. soldiers prompted the U.S. forces to retaliate by striking some headquarters of Iranian-backed armed groups affiliated with the Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, killing and wounding dozens of them.

Later, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq suspended their attacks on U.S. bases to pave the way for the Iraqi government to hold negotiations with the U.S.-led coalition to end their presence in Iraq.

Source(s): CGTN

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U.S., UK launch new wave of strikes against Yemen’s Houthis

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The U.S. and the UK carried out a fresh wave of strikes on Saturday against 18 Houthi targets in Yemen, according to a joint statement, following weeks of attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Iran-backed group.

The strikes “specifically targeted 18 Houthi targets across eight locations in Yemen associated with Houthi underground weapons storage facilities, missile storage facilities, one-way attack unmanned aerial systems, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter,” said the joint statement.

It was co-signed by Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, who gave unspecified “support” to the new round of strikes, the second this month and fourth since the Houthis began their attacks on ships in the region.

“The Houthis’ now more than 45 attacks on commercial and naval vessels since mid-November constitute a threat to the global economy, as well as regional security and stability and demand an international response,” the statement said.

Houthi-run Al-Masirah television reported “a series of raids on the capital Sanaa,” while AFP correspondents in the Houthi-controlled city in western Yemen said they heard several loud bangs.

“The United States will not hesitate to take action, as needed, to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most critical waterways,” Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said in a separate statement after the strikes.

“We will continue to make clear to the Houthis that they will bear the consequences if they do not stop their illegal attacks, which harm Middle Eastern economies, cause environmental damage, and disrupt the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen and other countries.”

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree was defiant, vowing in a social media statement that the group would “confront the American-British escalation with more qualitative military operations against all hostile targets in the Red and Arab Seas.”

The UK Ministry of Defense said four Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s targeted “several very long-range drones, used by the Houthis for both reconnaissance and attack missions,” on Saturday at a site north-east of Sanaa.

Saturday’s operation comes after several merchant vessels were struck this week in the region, including the fertilizer-filled Rubymar, whose crew had to abandon ship after it was hit Sunday and began taking on water.

Apart from the joint operations with Britain, the United States has also carried out unilateral strikes against Houthi positions and weaponry in Yemen and downed dozens of missiles and drones in the Red Sea.

Source(s): CGTN

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Gaza ceasefire talks underway in Paris as air strikes continue

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Gaza truce talks were underway in Paris on Friday, marking the most serious push in weeks to halt the fighting in the battered Palestinian enclave and see Israeli and foreign hostages released.

Reuters reported that the talks had begun, with Israel’s head of the Mossad intelligence service meeting separately with each party – Qatar, Egypt and the United States, according to an anonymous source.

“There are budding signs of optimism about moving forward toward the start of serious negotiations,” the source was quoted as saying. Egypt’s Al Qahera TV News also reported that the talks had commenced.

An official from Hamas stated that the militant group had concluded ceasefire talks in Cairo and was now awaiting the outcome of the weekend talks with Israel mediated by others.

Mediators have intensified efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza, aiming to prevent an Israeli assault on the Gaza city of Rafah, where more than a million displaced people are sheltering at the southern edge of the enclave.

Israel has threatened to attack the city if no truce agreement is reached soon. Washington has urged its close ally not to proceed, warning of vast civilian casualties if an assault on the city occurs.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Egyptian mediators in Cairo this past week to discuss a truce, marking his first visit since December.

Two Egyptian security sources confirmed that Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel would head to Paris for talks with the Israelis after wrapping up discussions with Haniyeh on Thursday. Israel has not publicly commented on the Paris talks, which are expected to continue through the weekend.

Reuters reported that the militant group did not offer any new proposals at the talks with the Egyptians but was waiting to see what the mediators would bring back from their discussions with the Israelis, citing a Hamas official who requested anonymity.

Ceasefire outline emerged from earlier talks

The last time similar talks were held in Paris, at the start of February, they produced an outline for the first extended ceasefire of the conflict, approved by Israel and the United States. Hamas responded with a counterproposal, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then rejected as “delusional.”

Hamas, believed to still be holding more than 100 hostages seized in the October 7 attack on Israel that triggered the conflict, insists on their release only as part of a truce that includes an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israel, on the other hand, refuses to withdraw until Hamas is eradicated.

Late on Thursday, Netanyahu presented his security cabinet with an official plan for Gaza once the fighting stops. He emphasized that Israel expects to maintain security control over the enclave after destroying Hamas and also sees no role there for the Palestinian Authority (PA) based in the West Bank.

Washington favors a role for a reformed PA.

Two Palestinian officials familiar with the negotiations stated that Hamas has not changed its stance in the latest push to reach a deal and still demands that a truce end with an Israeli pullout.

“Israel’s position and its response to mediation has been negative and this poses many obstacles towards reaching an agreement,” senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said on Friday during a press conference in Beirut.

“Netanyahu is procrastinating… He does not care about the release of his hostages, but rather uses this issue as a card to achieve his goals,” Hamdan said.

At least 29,514 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, the Gaza health ministry said on Friday.

Source(s): CGTN

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