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FirstFT: China and India cast pall over climate ambitions ahead of COP26

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FirstFT: China and India cast pall over climate ambitions ahead of COP26

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China and India cast a pall over the opening of the COP26 summit in Glasgow when they rejected calls to set tough new climate targets, calling into question whether the world’s biggest polluters will start cutting emissions this decade.

Leading economies including the US and UK have pressed China to tighten its climate goals but in a formal submission to the UN on Thursday Beijing left its targets unchanged. It said it would reach peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. It also stuck to its position of increasing domestic coal production until 2025.

With just three days until the COP26 summit begins, India, the world’s third-largest emitter, said it might not submit any new target at all, despite previously indicating that it would.

As the UK, the host of COP26, and its allies lobby for stronger pledges to help limit global warming to well below 2C, as agreed under the 2015 Paris accord, their calls have been met with resistance.

India is in no hurry to make new international climate commitments ahead of COP26. It has asked for more support from affluent countries and wants them to provide greater climate finance for the developing world.

  • Go deeper: India’s energy demand is expected to grow faster than any other country in the world over the next two decades, according to the International Energy Agency.

Do you think that China and India should make stronger climate pledges? Or do affluent countries need to step in with more aid? Tell me what you think at firstft@ft.com. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of the news — Emily

Five more stories in the news

1. Corporate earnings reflect global supply shortages Apple revenues were slightly below forecasts but the technology giant achieved higher net profits than anticipated despite a components shortage that cost it $6bn in the quarter. Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics reported its highest quarterly profits in three years, as the world’s biggest maker of computer chips, smartphones and electronic displays benefits from surging demand.

  • Related read: Sony confirmed yesterday that it may partner with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, to build a new fabrication plant in Japan.

2. Facebook changes name to Meta in corporate rebranding The name change reflects the company’s push to build a digital avatar-filled virtual world known as the metaverse as it battles a deepening public relations crisis and growing regulatory scrutiny.

3. Joe Biden announces revised $1.75tn spending deal US officials were “confident” the pared back deal would garner support from all Democrats on Capitol Hill, including senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who have resisted many elements of Biden’s economic agenda. The announcement came one day after the collapse of Democrats’ proposed billionaires tax.

  • Interview: Cori Bush, one of the most prominent progressive members of the US Congress, has urged the White House to keep fighting for a larger domestic spending package.

4. Central banks contend with inflation European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde rebuffed investor expectations that the ECB could raise rates next year to quell fast-rising prices, saying analysis did “not support” a rate rise before the end of 2022. Meanwhile, Brazil’s central bank revealed its biggest interest rate rise in almost 20 years as it ratchets up its inflation fight.

5. Global regulators target ‘decentralised finance’ The Financial Action Task Force has said that creators, owners and operators of decentralised finance services should comply with rules designed to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, marking the first move to bring decentralised finance under regulatory oversight.

Coronavirus digest

  • A cheap antidepressant reduces the risk of hospitalisation in Covid-19 outpatients that are at higher risk of severe disease, a large study has found.

  • US economic growth slowed considerably in the third quarter owing to supply-chain disruptions, Covid-19 caseload and slower spending on consumer goods.

  • The last seven countries have been removed from England’s travel “red list” in line with a relaxation of pandemic-induced restrictions across the world.

  • Millions of Britons will be worse off next year despite chancellor Rishi Sunak’s promises of higher wages and help with the cost of living, according to new analysis.

The stagnation in incomes is set to continue

The days ahead

G20 summit The gathering of world leaders in Rome this weekend marks the first in-person G20 summit since the start of the pandemic. But notable absences will include China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Japan’s Fumio Kishida and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador. (CNN, Reuters)

Japan general election New Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida is gambling on a quick election victory on Sunday to secure the public mandate and solid base to rejuvenate a stagnant economy still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. But his position could be in jeopardy if the ruling Liberal Democratic party struggles against a united opposition.

COP26 kick off The UN climate change summit will begin in Glasgow on Sunday. For in-depth analysis of the conference every weekday check out our Moral Money newsletter. Stay up to date on all our COP26 coverage on FT.com.

What else we’re reading and listening to

The coming army of Wall St whistleblowers US banks should be braced for a wave of whistleblower complaints after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission offered a record $200m award to a former Deutsche Bank employee, offering a reminder that regulators can pay to expose corporate wrongdoing.

Lessons for China from Japan’s 1990s collapse One of Chinese policymakers’ main goals is to avoid Japan’s 1990 fate, when the excesses from years of rapid growth culminated in the collapse of a spectacular asset price bubble. The longer Beijing takes to address its housing market bubble and accept a lower level of growth, the worse the pain will be.

A 26-country journey to the front lines of the climate battle Simon Mundy, the Financial Times’ Moral Money newsletter editor, tells the human stories behind “the greatest challenge in our history”.

  • Related read: Simon Kuper explains why a four-day work week would help save the planet.

Simon Mundy crossing a snowy valley in Mongolia’s Uvs province on a motorcycle
Simon Mundy crossing a valley in Mongolia’s Uvs province, which has recently been hit by unusually severe winters. Scientists have linked this to ice melt in the Arctic © Alice Wang

J&J’s ‘Texas-two-step’ puts spotlight on US bankruptcy regime Johnson & Johnson has deployed an unusual legal manoeuvre to shield itself from 38,000 lawsuits alleging its talc-based baby powder caused cancer. Here is how it works.

Are retail trading apps too easy to use? Confetti and colourful emojis may once have been strangers to the dry, colourless world of digital stock trading but now they are symbols of a growing debate within brokerages wrestling with just how simple apps should be.

Gadgets

A round-up of the latest super-smart travel gadgets, including a juiced-up laptop sleeve and a portable power bank.

Published at Thu, 28 Oct 2021 21:52:11 +0000

https://www.ft.com/content/beb063a3-ad12-47fc-94c5-2f0149df3c0b

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