Coal crunch: Asia faces winter of discontent
23 October 2021 | 6:30 am
China and India are struggling to obtain enough coal to get through the winter and power their pandemic recoveries. Soaring prices are exacerbating the energy crisis and raising urgent questions about climate goals.
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Thirteen years ago, the UN's climate conference saw developed countries commit $100 billion per year by 2020. That figure has not been met and it is South Asia that has paid the price, say climate activists.
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The deal to set up a fund to compensate poorer countries being hit by climate change is viewed as a positive development, but many remain skeptical as it's not clear who would pay for it and who would benefit.
The regime in Pyongyang has started 2023 by threatening South Korea and announcing plans for more capable ballistic missiles and a larger nuclear arsenal.
Brussels is seeking to build influence in Southeast Asia. But the EU's habit of criticizing governments over human rights doesn't go down too well in the region.
A visit to South Korea and Japan by the head of NATO this week highlights the alliance's strategic priority to push back against China and North Korea, while addressing the global impact of Russia's war in Ukraine.
A survey has found that many people in Southeast Asia prefer to engage with the EU amid US-China rivalry in the region. Cambodians particularly viewed the bloc favorably — Malaysians and Indonesians not so much.
The European Parliament has been sending delegations to the region as it edges towards an EU-ASEAN parliamentary assembly. But the bloc is fractured over who should lead EU foreign policy.
The elderly population in East Asia is swelling as the birth rate continues to decline. The region now has the world's lowest fertility rate, raising fears of social and economic woes, especially for its youth.
The proposed legislation is causing consternation in Southeast Asia, where local businesses are currently working to adapt to the EU regulations on the environment and sustainability.
The EU is under pressure from the US to take a tougher stance on China's strategic expansion in Southeast Asia. However, European leaders say they want to avoid being seen as an extension of Washington.
Despite recent crackdowns on criminal gangs, people traffickers are expanding their scam operations and increasingly targeting citizens outside the region.
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