The latest news from PAGE China, covering; events, learning and sharing opportunities, what we're reading and UN news.


PAGE Brings Global and Country Perspectives Together on Green Jobs at HLPF 2021


Held on 9 July, the PAGE-led side event at the 2021 High-Level Political Forum — Green Recoveries for a Job-Rich Future — offered an open dialogue on global and country-led efforts on green economic recoveries & green growth — including successes, lessons learned, and challenges.

The conversation between the panelists (Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO; Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP; H.E. Elizabeth Thompson, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Barbados; Dr. Febrio Nathan Kacaribu, Head of Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia; and Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany) broadly touched on sectoral potential, green finance and the importance of ensuring a just transition.

The discussion focused on grasping the opportunity to turn economic recovery into economic transformation — building resilient economies that account for planet and people. Each speaker noted the crucial need to make this green economy transformation just and for the whole society, noting the need to understand the connections of current global crises.

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ILO Asia-Pacific Green Jobs Network Meeting, 26 August 2021, online

The August meeting of the ILO Asia-Pacific Green Jobs Network was held on 26 August 2021. The meeting introduced “What RBSA 2021 is contributing to climate action in AP?” (annex 1) and “What PAGE can achieve in Asia?” (annex 2), followed by a panel discussion.

Annex 3: Summary A-P Green Jobs Network_26 Aug 2021


China announces massive greening plan to achieve carbon goals
2021-08-25 Source: People’s Daily

China plans to plant 500 million mu (about 33.33 million hectares) of forests and grasslands in the next five years -- 100 million mu per year -- to help achieve its carbon emission reduction goals, according to the country's forestry authorities. The task includes planting 54 million mu of trees and 46 million mu of grass each year, said Zhang Wei, head of the ecological protection and restoration department of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA). Zhang said that the participation of private capital in the carbon emissions reduction campaign will be encouraged, and the government is ready to help key regions, organizers of major events, enterprises and the public to achieve carbon neutrality with forest and grassland carbon sinks.

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Govt offices embrace recyclable packaging
2021-08-27 Source: China Daily

China launched a campaign to promote green packaging in express delivery services in government offices as part of a move to advance green development. Environmentally friendly wrapping products and facilities related to express delivery services, such as customized bins to collect recyclable wrapping and padding materials, narrower tape, tape-free boxes and recycled transfer boxes will be provided and placed in government offices. The campaign, initiated by the State Post Bureau and the National Government Offices Administration, will start in central government departments and then spread to more offices.

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Nation set to optimize energy mix, industry
2021-08-19 Source: China Daily

China will strive to optimize its energy mix and industrial structure during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) to improve air quality while forging ahead with its ambitious climate targets, a leading environmental official said on Wednesday.

Thanks to consistent efforts by various government bodies, the nation has seen its air quality improve in recent years, Huang Runqiu, minister of ecology and environment, told a news conference. Meanwhile, Huang acknowledged that air pollution control has entered a "deep water zone" with many difficulties and challenges. "We now need to crack the hard nut, which is our industrial structure and energy mix," he said.

The root causes of China's environmental problems are its high-carbon energy mix and its industrial structure with high energy consumption and carbon emissions, he said. He said efforts to promote transition in the mix and structure will result in a synergetic effect in pollution control and carbon reduction, considering that they are common sources of many air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

He said new projects with high energy consumption and emissions have been a major target of central environmental inspection teams, which are headed by retired ministerial-level officials and report to Vice-Premier Han Zheng. The inspections aim to curb ill-regulated development of such projects and get the country onto a track of green, low-carbon and high-quality development, he said.

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All-electric ship to help boost green transportation
2021-08-19 Source: China Daily

The hull construction of the world's largest purely electric-driven cruise ship has been completed in a shipbuilding industrial park in Yichang, Hubei province, in a step toward providing more options in the green growth of transportation on the Yangtze River. Workers are now outfitting the ship, which is expected to play a role in boosting the local tourism industry.

The Changjiang San Xia 1, which is 100 meters long and 16.3 meters wide, will mainly operate on the Yangtze, the longest river in the country. The ship is expected to make a trial voyage at the end of the year. Unlike traditional electric vessels, the ship will use clean hydropower energy, and it can operate more than 100 kilometers on one charge, helping save 530 metric tons of fuel oil every year.

In 2020, four ministries, including transportation and ecology, issued a joint plan to curb ship and port pollution, urging comprehensive improvements in pollution prevention and acceleration of the green development of the shipping industry along the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

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BRICS to set up remote-sensing satellite network
2021-08-18 Source: China Daily

China will work with Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa to establish a network of remote-sensing satellites to help to deal with global challenges such as climate change, major disasters and environmental deterioration.

The heads of national space agencies in BRICS countries met on Wednesday via video link and signed the Agreement on the Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation, according to a statement published on Wednesday night by the China National Space Administration.

The agreement enables cooperation among BRICS space agencies to build a network of remote sensing satellites as a data-sharing mechanism. The network will become the first joint effort by BRICS countries in space-based infrastructure. Read

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China produces its first global carbon flux dataset
2021-08-17 Source: China Daily

Chinese researchers have produced the country's first global carbon dioxide flux dataset based on observation data from the carbon dioxide monitoring satellite TanSat. This means China is now capable of conducting the quantitative spatial monitoring of the global carbon budget. With the rapid development of atmospheric detection and model simulation technology, the method of tracing carbon emissions by observing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is considered effective for the evaluation of greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts. The global carbon flux dataset facilitates the public's understanding of the impact of actions such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing carbon sinks according to climate change trends.

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Hottest month ever recorded adds to evidence of alarming climate change
2021-08-15 Source: Xinhua

July was the hottest month ever recorded in human history, according to new data from a U.S. scientific agency. "July is typically the world's warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded," Rick Spinrad, administrator of the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, said Friday in a statement. "In this case, first place is the worst place to be," Spinrad added.

Earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of the UN, released a report titled "Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis," in which it warned that uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions have intensified climatic shocks besides undermining growth and stability. "Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe," the report said.

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China to make logistics system smarter, greener
2021-08-11 Source: People’s Daily

China will improve its logistics network for commercial services and international trade to make the system smarter, greener and more efficient by 2025, according to an action plan jointly issued by the Ministry of Commerce and eight other government departments. The high-quality development of logistics for commercial activities and international trade will contribute to the new development paradigm of "dual circulation" which allows domestic and overseas markets to reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay, the plan says.

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AIIB may officially end coal financing in 2022
2021-08-06 Source: People’s Daily

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank may officially rule out coal projects if it updates its energy strategy next year, after shunning funding for such plants since it began operations in 2016, Jin Liqun, president of the bank, said on Wednesday. The bank has never funded any coal-fired projects, despite provisions for such financing, Jin said at the virtual 2021 Aspen Security Forum.

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First APEC Live with Business focuses on climate change, collaboration
2021-08-06 Source: Xinhua

While the economic recovery from COVID-19 is the current focus of businesses and governments globally, the longer-term challenges of climate change and feeding a growing population also need attention, food sector leaders have said. Speaking on Thursday at APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) 2021 LIVE with Business: A sustainable and resilient APEC food system, Food Industry Asia, Executive Director Matt Kovac outlined the challenge ahead.

APEC 2021 LIVE with Business: A sustainable and resilient APEC food system was the first in series of events bringing together business people and thought leaders from across the APEC region physically and virtually. The events will set the scene for the big conversations at the APEC 2021 CEO Summit in November.

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China's green loan expansion picks up in H1
2021-08-01 Source: Xinhua

The balance of China's green loans in local and foreign currencies stood at 13.92 trillion yuan (2.15 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of June, up 26.5 percent year on year, the country's central bank said. The growth rate was 1.9 percentage points higher than that at the end of March and 14.6 percentage points higher than that for all kinds of loans at the end of June, the People's Bank of China said. Of the total, 67.3 percent of the green loans went to projects related to carbon emission reduction.

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NSTDA and NEDO form partnership in Bio-Circular-Green Economy
2021-08-11 Source: National Science and Technology Development Agency

On 11 August 2021, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) President Dr. Narong Sirilertworakul and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan Chairman Dr. OIKAWA Hiroshi signed a Memorandum of Understanding between NSTDA and NEDO. The cooperation emphasizes the development and implementation of technologies and innovations of Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) for sustainable and eco-friendly economic growth based on the complementarity of Thailand’s BCG Model and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy.

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Refineries opt for advanced technologies to address global warming challenges
2021-08-19 Source: Bangkok Post

Being alert to the world’s agenda on climate change, oil refineries in Thailand are striving to employ advanced and proven technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption derived from their operations. The undertaking is part of efforts to make meaningful contributions to address the global warming problem.

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Thailand proposes carbon neutrality by 2065-2070, bets on CCUS
2021-08-27 Source: S&P Global

Thailand proposes to achieve carbon neutrality by 2065-2070 under a new energy plan that could see renewable energy account for a 50% share of its new power generation, displacing natural gas which is currently the mainstay of its power generation sector.

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ADB, PLN consider plan to retire Indonesian coal plants early
2021-08-24 Source: The Jakarta Post

To support Indonesia’s carbon neutral target, Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working on a financing scheme to buy coal-fired power plants (PLTU) in Indonesia and retire them early. The ADB, PLN (State-Owned Company in Electricity Utility) and other stakeholders are finalizing a pre-feasibility study on the scheme, called the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). The ETM is a new approach to tackling Indonesia’s NZE goal which is the long remaining lifespan of domestic coal plants. The proposed scheme involves establishing an ETM body consisting of a Carbon Reduction Facility (CRF) to acquire coal plants and a Clean Energy Facilities (CEF) to develop green energy facilities such as power plants and energy storage systems.

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Coal bad bank fund dangles complex climate kudos
2021-08-05 Source: Reuters

The Asian Development Bank and the UK’s Prudential (PRU.L) are devising a plan to buy Asian coal plants, shut them down early and foster renewable energy. It’s still in the planning stages, with the idea being to pitch it at this November’s United Nations COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow. The partners would set up a special-purpose vehicle to buy coal plants in perhaps 10 low- and middle-income Asian countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines. Meanwhile, with each host country’s backing, it would encourage the erstwhile owners and others to invest in green power.

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Global climate objectives fall short without nuclear power in the mix: UNECE
2021-08-11 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

The urgent need to reduce emissions and slow global heating, should involve the roll-out of more nuclear power stations, regional UN energy experts argued in a new briefing on Wednesday.

Only weeks before world leaders gather in Glasgow to hammer out plans to slow climate change, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has released a document arguing that nuclear power can help deliver on the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the new technology brief published on Wednesday, the agency warned that “time is running out to rapidly transform the global energy system,” as fossil fuels still account for over half of electricity generation in the UNECE region, which include the countries of Europe, but also countries in North America, Central Asia and Western Asia.

The report highlights how only hydropower has played a greater role in avoiding carbon emissions over the past 50 years. Nuclear power is a low-carbon energy source that has avoided about 74Gt of CO2 emissions over this period, nearly two years’ worth of total global energy-related emissions, it noted. Yet nuclear power currently provides 20 per cent of electricity generated in the UNECE region and 43 per cent of low-carbon generation.

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IPCC report: ‘Code red’ for human driven global heating, warns UN Chief
2021-08-09 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible, at least during the present time frame, according to the latest much-anticipated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on Monday.

But there is still time to limit climate change, IPCC experts say. Strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, could quickly make air quality better, and in 20 to 30 years global temperatures could stabilize.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the Working Group's report was nothing less than "a code red for humanity". The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable".

The report, prepared by 234 scientists from 66 countries, highlights that human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years.

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Sink or swim: Can island states survive the climate crisis?
2021-07-31 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Small island nations across the world are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, and their problems have been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely affected their economies, and their capacity to protect themselves from possible extinction. We take a look at some of the many challenges they face, and how they could be overcome.

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Thailand flexes financial muscle to grapple with climate crisis
2021-08-15Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

“Social responsibility and sustainable profit” can go hand in hand according to the chief of Thailand’s government pension fund. The UN, and some of the biggest players in the Thai economy, are working together to support efforts by the country’s finance and banking institutions to speed up the South East Asian country’s transition to a net zero carbon economy.

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More than 4 billion people still lack any social protection, ILO report finds
2021-09-01 Source: ILO

Despite the unprecedented worldwide expansion of social protection during the COVID-19 crisis, more than 4 billion people around the world remain entirely unprotected, a new International Labour Organization (ILO) report says. It finds that the pandemic response was uneven and insufficient, deepening the gap between countries with high and low income levels and failing to afford the much-needed social protection that all human beings deserve. he World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads – in pursuit of a better futureT gives a global overview of recent developments in social protection systems, including social protection floors, and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report identifies protection gaps and sets out key policy recommendations, including in relation to the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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More information on PAGE China News for Green Jobs Working Group:

Pei Hongye

Cristina Martinez

Zhang Xubiao

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