COP26 Closing ‘Coal Power Reduction’ Agreement… US-China Foreign Ministers Discuss Taiwan Issue

This is ‘Global Village Today’, which delivers major news from various countries around the world.

Moderator) What news do you have today?

Reporter) Yes. The 26th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) ended on the 13th with the adoption of the ‘Glasgow Climate Treaty’, which includes the reduction of coal use. Ahead of the U.S.-China summit, the diplomatic heads of the two countries had a battle over the Taiwan issue. We will continue to share with you the news that this year’s world food imports have increased significantly compared to last year.

Host) This is the first news from the global village today. The 26th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) has ended.

Reporter) Yes. COP26, which was held in Glasgow, England, ended on the 13th with the adoption of the so-called ‘Glasgow Climate Treaty’.

Host) Did you know that the event was originally scheduled to end on the 12th?

Reporter) That’s right. Originally, Friday the 12th was the closing day. However, due to disagreements over the contents of the treaty, it was extended until the 13th, the next day, and then ended.

Moderator) The result of the COP26 extended by one day is the Glasgow Climate Treaty. Let’s summarize the main contents.

Reporter) Yes. Participating countries reaffirmed their continued efforts to limit temperature rise within this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.

Moderator) Is this item from the 2015 Paris climate agreement?

Reporter) Yes. The Paris Agreement has pledged to keep the temperature increase below 2.0 degrees Celsius, ideally below 1.5 degrees Celsius. At the same time, each country has decided to re-issue the ‘2030 National Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target (NDC)’ next year.

Host) NDC is due every 5 years, right?

Reporter) Yes. However, he said he couldn’t afford to wait so much, so he decided to bet again next year. For reference, greenhouse gases are the biggest cause of global warming.

Moderator) The issue of fossil fuels such as coal was also one of the issues at COP26. What agreement has been reached on this topic?

Reporter) Yes. An agreement has been reached to accelerate efforts to phase out coal power and phase out subsidies to fossil fuels.

Moderator) You mean to ‘reduce’, not ‘stop’ coal power generation, right?

Reporter) That’s right. At first, I was going to ‘stop’. India and China, which use a lot of coal, objected and eventually retreated to ‘reduction’. The treaty also pledged to double the funds by 2025 to help poor countries adapt to the damage caused by global warming. On the other hand, for the first time in history, it was confirmed for the first time that developed countries need to compensate for the damage and damage caused to developing countries due to global warming.

Moderator) Why are advanced countries compensating for damages caused by global warming?

Reporter) Yes. Since global warming is largely the responsibility of developed countries, it is necessary to compensate the damage and damage that developing countries have to bear. Also, in the Glasgow Climate Treaty, the international carbon market guidelines were finalized, and the so-called ‘Paris Agreement Detailed Implementation Rules (Katowice Climate Package)’ was finally completed. This is to create a transparent and unified international norm for the carbon credit market that trades greenhouse gas emission rights between countries.

Moderator) What is the reaction to the Glasgow Climate Treaty adopted by COP26?

Reporter) Yes. Expectations and disappointments intersect. First of all, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted COP26, said, “There is still a long way to go, but this time, we have prepared a big turning point.” “We have lived up to our hopes of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and we’ve made great strides in other areas such as coal, money and forest protection,” he said.

Moderator) Is it an evaluation that some important progress has been made?

Reporter) Yes. U.S. special envoy for climate change, John Kerry, said, “Never before has the results been so advanced for avoiding climate chaos, for cleaner air, safer water and a healthier planet.” However, in addition to these positive reviews, there were also reactions that were disappointed.

Moderator) In what ways are you disappointed?

Reporter) The criticism is that there was no special progress. Many environmental groups, scientists, and countries vulnerable to climate change have said they are disappointed with the agreement. First, Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg criticized on Twitter, saying, “COP26 is over. In addition, Jennifer Morgan, secretary general of the environmental group Greenpeace, said, “The agreement is weak. We barely survived the 1.5-degree limit on temperature rise,” he said, adding, “It was able to signal the end of the ‘coal age’. It is meaningful in itself.”

Moderator) Secretary-General Morgan said that the overall lack of coal was meaningful, right?

Reporter) Yes. Alok Sharma, chairman of COP26, also evaluated the agreement to phase out coal power generation as ‘historical’ in a meeting with ‘BBC’ after the event was over.

Moderator) What is the UN’s reaction?

Reporter: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said of the COP26 agreement, “It is a compromise. The interests, contradictions, and political wills of countries around the world were reflected. It was an important step. However, gathering political will alone is not enough to resolve the great contradiction.”

Moderator) I know that the General Assembly of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is held every year. In which country will it be held next year?

Reporter) Yes. COP27 will be held next year in Sham el-Sheikh, Egypt.

US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln (left) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) met at the G-20 summit in October (file photo)

Moderator) The global village is the next news today. U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blincoln and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are talking about the Taiwan issue?

Reporter) Yes. Ahead of the U.S.-China summit, Secretary Blincoln and Director Wang Yi spoke on the phone. The Taiwan issue was discussed at the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said. It is known that Secretary Blincoln expressed concern over China’s military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan.

Moderator) How did Director Wang Yi react to Secretary Blincoln’s criticism?

Reporter) Yes. It warns of US actions that appear to support Taiwan’s independence. He warned that “accepting or supporting the forces seeking Taiwan’s independence will harm the peace in the Taiwan Strait and will eventually come back as a boomerang.” Becoming a boomerang can be interpreted as saying that it can be ‘self-sufficient’.

Moderator) Isn’t the Taiwan issue an important issue in the US-China summit to be held on the 15th?

Reporter) Yes. US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a summit meeting via video on the 15th at 7:45 p.m. Eastern time in the United States. The two leaders are also expected to discuss the Taiwan issue.

Moderator) Why did the Taiwan issue become a hot issue between the United States and China?

Reporter) Yes. Tensions are escalating as China intensifies military pressure on Taiwan after the US and Taiwan showed closeness during the former US administration of Donald Trump. As China periodically sends military aircraft into the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone and strengthens military training near the Taiwan Strait, there are also concerns that China is trying to invade Taiwan.

However, did the US say that if China invades Taiwan, it will help Taiwan?

Reporter) Yes. President Biden recently appeared on ‘CNN’ in the United States to reveal his meaning. In the midst of this, it was also said that a small number of US troops had entered Taiwan and were training with the Taiwanese military, which drew attention.

Moderator) What other issues are there in the US-China summit besides the Taiwan issue?

Reporter) Yes. In addition to the Taiwan issue, the two leaders are expected to discuss various issues such as Hong Kong issues, human rights issues in China, the South China Sea issue, trade disputes, and climate change. A senior US government official said President Biden would order China to act responsibly and by the rules.

Moderator) Do you think an important agreement will be reached at this summit?

Reporter: It’s not very likely. A senior U.S. government official explained, “This meeting is not about agreeing on a specific outcome, but about an effort to manage competition responsibly.” Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs will exchange frankly and fully today on important issues of common interest between the two leaders.”

A farmer grows wheat in China's Hebei province in June.  (data photo)

A farmer grows wheat in China’s Hebei province in June. (data photo)

Host) Global Village Today, let’s look at one more news. Is the news that world food imports have increased significantly this year?

Reporter) Yes. According to the latest Food Outlook report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global food imports totaled $1.75 trillion this year, up 14% from last year. For reference, the previous forecast had predicted a 12% increase.

Moderator) Why did the amount of food imports jump so much?

Reporter) Yes. This is because the prices and freight rates of internationally traded food have increased. In particular, freight rates have tripled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Moderator) So, isn’t the amount of food imports increasing because of the increase in food imports?

Reporter) Yes. For example, of the $25 billion in additional imports from low-income and food-scarce countries, only $11 billion reflects the additional imports, the FAO said. So out of the 25 billion dollars these countries paid extra for food imports, 14 billion dollars were paid because prices went up.

Moderator) Are you curious about the situation in each region?

Reporter) Yes. First, developing countries, which account for 40% of global food imports, saw a 20% increase. A very steep increase is expected, especially in low-income and food-shortage countries.

Moderator) On the other hand, what is the situation in developed countries?

Reporter) Yes. Developed countries account for 60% of world food imports. In these countries, the increase was 11%. In developed countries, relatively expensive foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, dairy products and beverages, have led the rise.

Moderator) Are you curious about the trend by item?

Reporter) Yes. Grain is expected to be solid. Rice and corn, in particular, are expected to deliver record yields. However, the FAO forecasts that consumption of these grains will increase rapidly, especially for general food and animal feed.

Moderator) What is the outlook for meat production?

reporter) yes. Meat production is likely to increase as meat production, particularly pork, is growing rapidly in China. However, the FAO forecasts that the growth of transaction volume is likely to slow as imports decline in Asia and Europe.

Moderator) How did the FAO view other items besides grain and meat?

Reporter) Yes. Supply of oilseeds and related products will also improve somewhat, but year-end inventories are expected to remain below average. Sugar production, which has declined in the past three years, is expected to rebound, but still fall short of consumption. Dairy products, on the other hand, will increase production as demand increases in all regions. Seafood production will also increase by 2%, the FAO forecast.

Moderator) Yes. The global village will listen up to today.



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