FirstFT: China unveils new climate plan

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China has outlined a plan to hit peak greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, releasing a long-awaited blueprint just days ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The world’s biggest energy consumer is the latest country to launch new climate policies ahead of COP26. Australia also set net zero emissions goals on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia at the weekend, following the dozens of other countries that have formed new climate pledges in the run-up to the Glasgow summit.

However, China’s announcement yesterday came as the UN secretary-general warned that, even with the new pledges, countries were still “utterly failing” to keep the goals of the Paris climate accord within reach.

“We are still on track for climate catastrophe,” António Guterres said as he criticised the lack of detail in many climate plans, without singling out any specific country. Our Moral Money newsletter will be running Monday to Friday during COP26 to give you the best analysis of the UN climate summit. Sign up here to receive a free trial of the newsletter.

Further reading on COP26:

  • Explore our searchable database on how every country’s emissions and climate pledges compare.

  • US President Joe Biden will be heading to Scotland facing questions about his ability to enact meaningful climate policy in the world’s largest economy.

  • Jeffrey Sachs, an expert in sustainable development, explains to the FT’s Martin Sandbu how we can have both decarbonisation and robust growth.

What do you think global leaders should focus on to best tackle climate change? Email your views to me at [email protected]. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia and here is the rest of today’s news — Emily

Five more stories in the news

1. Moody’s warns of ‘systemic risks’ in private credit industry The ballooning private credit industry of lending to buyout groups has grown to about $1tn, but opacity, eroding standards and the difficulty in trading these slices of debt pose “systemic risks”, according to the rating agency.

2. Developer Modern Land misses bond payment Modern Land has become the latest Chinese developer to miss a payment on a dollar bond in a sign of continuing turmoil in the country’s property sector despite Evergrande, its most indebted group, narrowly avoiding a potential default last week.

3. China blamed for cancellation of events for German book on Xi Critics of China have reacted angrily at the cancellation of events to mark the publication of a new German book about the Asian country’s leader, Xi Jinping — The Most Powerful Man in the World, at the apparent behest of Chinese diplomats.

4. Japanese princess marries ‘commoner’ husband Princess Mako, the niece of Japan’s emperor, has married her university sweetheart, telling a sceptical public that the union was critical to the couple’s mental health and “necessary for our survival” after years of criticism over her choice of husband.

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro were married in a registry office in Tokyo © JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images

5. Gazprom offered Moldova gas deal in exchange for weaker EU ties The Russian state gas company has proposed that the former Soviet republic adjust its free trade deal with the bloc and delay energy market reforms agreed with Brussels in exchange for cheaper gas for the country.

Coronavirus digest

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The day ahead

Japan monetary policy committee meeting The Bank of Japan will begin its two-day meeting today. It is expected to maintain its current stimulus programme in its policy decision on Thursday, while other central banks around the world have begun drawing down pandemic policies. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

Singapore eases regional travel restrictions Starting today, most travellers from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be able to enter and travel through Singapore. The city-state will also ease restrictions from other countries including Malaysia and Indonesia. (Straits Times)

UK Budget Day The headline act of today’s Budget day will be chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech. The FT will be providing full coverage. We are expecting publication of the government’s Integrated Rail Plan, setting out how major projects such as High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Midlands Engine will be phased and connected.

Join the Asia Insurance Summit on October 28 for resilience and growth strategies from our panel of regulators, CEOs and other senior executives from across the industry.

What else we’re reading

Toyota lawsuit shows how corporate Japan is changing Nippon Steel’s patent lawsuit against Toyota, Japan’s most powerful company, is extraordinary in a country where suppliers rarely challenge their biggest clients, writes Kana Inagaki.

Isis-K insurgency jeopardises Taliban’s grip US troops might have departed Afghanistan but the new Islamist rulers in Kabul are threatened by an insurgency launched by Islamic State-Khorasan Province, an Isis-inspired jihadi movement that has deep ideological differences with the Taliban.

EY and Wirecard: anatomy of a flawed audit Documents and first-hand testimony paint a picture of missed opportunities to uncover the fraud earlier, a failure by EY to properly scrutinise the German group it was auditing and a reluctance to challenge its client in public.

Not all green jobs are safe and clean In a decarbonising global economy, metals may be the new oil. Regulators must recognise that some work involved in greening the economy, including mining for the cobalt that powers clean energy technology, is dirty, dangerous and in need of reform, argues Sarah O’Connor.

We need to keep an eye on home surveillance The US is, in fact, almost on a par with China for security-camera penetration per person, according to pre-pandemic research by IHS Markit. But city surveillance accounts for just 3 per cent of the total network. The rest are installed by businesses and individuals, writes Elaine Moore.

Clothing & accessories

Whether you’re pounding the pavement or carving the breaks, here’s the latest sports gear for action adventures.

World-champion surfer ‘John John’ Florence on his Pyzel surfboard
World-champion surfer ‘John John’ Florence on his Pyzel surfboard © Getty Images

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