South Africa energy minister backs coal amid climate talks Bloomberg News | September 30, 2021 | 9:21 am Africa Coal South Africa mines minister Gwede Mantashe (Credit: Flickr) South Africa’s energy minister encouraged investment in technology that could potentially prolong the use of coal by mitigating emissions while a visiting delegation of rich nations work on a plan to end the nation’s dependence on the fossil fuel. The call by Mineral and Energy Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe at a mining investment conference comes as envoys from the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and the European Union meet with South African ministers, labor and business leaders around financing a move away from coal. “When we talk of carbon capture, storage and use, maybe it’s expensive,” Mantashe said in his closing address at the event on Wednesday. “Renewable energy was expensive, we invested and brought that into the economy and the price is coming down — we must be prepared to invest in cleaner coal technology.” This should be done as not to “sterilize” the resource, he said. The parallel discussions demonstrate disparities in South Africa’s approach to climate change, where the bulk of electricity is generated by burning coal and supporting a mining industry that employs tens of thousands of workers amid surging unemployment. Rich nations have pitched grants and loans approaching $5 billion to reduce use of the fossil fuel, a person familiar with the discussions said Wednesday. When asked about Mantashe’s involvement in the meetings with envoys, the energy department said that the environment department is the lead in that matter. (By Paul Burkhardt, with assistance from Antony Sguazzin) The fuel is being bought at a $12 to $15 a tonne discount to fresh shipments from Australia. Bloomberg News | October 1, 2021 | 10:53 am The country controls coal production under a quota system that caps annual output of mines in order to manage supply.https://www.mining.com/web/south-africa-energy-minister-backs-coal-amid-climate-talks/
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In addition, Manchin has said he would not be inclined to support anything over $1.5 trillion for the social spending bill. Biden admitted in the meeting that he does not have the votes to get the infrastructure bill across the finish line, and therefore cannot pass the social spending bill. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has promised that more than half of her group’s 95 members would vote against the infrastructure bill if it comes killer deal up before the safety net bill. Progressives want the two pieces of legislation to move in tandem in the House, while moderates have demanded a vote on the infrastructure bill before talks on the reconciliation bill are finalized. After an hourlong meeting with the progressive caucus, Jayapal told reporters that a vote on the infrastructure bill would not happen on Friday. She also said her members are not ready to commit to any range of the overall price tag of the safety net bill but are instead focusing on the policy priorities that must be included in any pared-down bill. “We will take as long as it takes,” she said.https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democratic-infighting-leaves-party-leaders-wrangling-support-infrastructure-bill-n1280560
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Then came attacks on Australia’s Chinese-language media , with reports of coercion, bullying and intimidation at any outlet daring to depart from the Communist Party line. Reports emerged that China had reached deep into the Australian political establishment, seeking to steer policy in China’s favor. Investigations found Beijing-linked businesses were the largest sources of donations with foreign ties, and the money went to both sides of the political spectrum. The financial intrusions rattled Australian politics. In 2017, Australian Labor Party Senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign over his ties to Chinese Communist Party-linked donors. Beijing sought control and influence in overt ways, too. Later in 2017, China’s security chief warned Labor leadership the party would risk losing support among Australia’s Chinese diaspora community if it didn’t back an extradition treaty Beijing wanted. And over the past 18 months, China hit Australia with a series of trade restrictions and tariffs in response to Canberra’s call for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Meanwhile, China was also building its military might in the region, making sweeping claims to the South China Sea and squeezing Hong Kong and Taiwan — moving southward toward Australia. The combined effect drew from the entire "wolf-warrior" playbook, named after a popular Chinese action film. Australia, having once extended Beijing a hand of friendship, is now back in the arms of its old associates. Earlier in September, Canberra announced a wide-ranging security partnership with the U.S. and U.K.https://www.politico.eu/article/how-china-xi-jinping-lost-australia-trade-diplomacy/