China’s Poor, Energy Mix, Plastic Ban, Financing Coal Commentary from the Web, Week 26, 2021

China remains a poor country, despite its phenomenal headline GDP growth

From Project SyndicateNancy Qian Says More… June 29, 2021

Project Syndicate: You recently pointed out that economic reporting about China focuses far too much on total GDP and not enough on per capita GDP. In fact, “China remains a poor country, despite its phenomenal headline GDP growth over the past four decades.” For that to change, you say, it must “significantly boost the incomes of a population about the size of that of Sub-Saharan Africa.” Are the government’s plans for the next five years likely to increase per capita GDP? What else should China be doing to tackle domestic poverty?

Nancy Qian: The timeline for lifting half the Chinese population out of extreme poverty needs to be longer – ten or more years. Poor rural populations need the tools and resources to become integrated into the modern economy, including better schools, better health care, a meaningful pension system, and savings instruments besides banks (which pay negligible interest rates to depositors).


China’s Evolving Energy Mix

In September 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping announced the steps his nation would take to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 via videolink before the United Nations Assembly in New York.

This infographic takes a look at what this ambitious plan for China’s energy would look like and what efforts are underway towards this goal.

From Visual Capitalist, July 13, 2021


How China’s Plastics Ban Threw Global Recycling into Disarray

For decades Western countries avoided the environmental costs of consumerism by outsourcing their recycling to the developing world. Since 1992, China imported nearly half of the world’s recyclables and waste, but recent restrictions have brought this to an end.

From Visual Capitalist, July 7, 2020


Who Funds Overseas Coal Plants?

Boston University Global Development Policy Institute, July 7. 2021

There is a misconception that the majority of new funding for overseas coal plants comes from public financing institutions in China, which is partly due to a lack of transparent, reliable, systematic and comprehensive data on cross-border financial flows, and for coal fired power plants, in particular.

 But a new policy brief by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center aims to correct this knowledge gap by comparing China’s overseas coal finance relative to its public and commercial counterparts globally.

Our research shows 87% of total financing for overseas coal plants comes from entities outside China.