Trendwatch: New report warns the clock is ticking for shipping’s zero-emission fuels target; New report provides comprehensive plan to meet U.S. net-zero goals and ensure fair and equitable energy transition; China reboots its Belt and Road Initiative

Sustainable, green energy city, urban ecology concept and modern business buildings surface covered in forest with copy space.

New report warns the clock is ticking for shipping’s zero-emission fuels target

A new report has revealed that while it is possible for scalable zero-emission fuels to make up 5% of international shipping fuels by 2030 – shipping’s breakthrough target – the window of opportunity will close soon, and rapid action is required from the industry.

The report named “Climate Action in Shipping, Progress towards Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough” was published by the University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS), Getting to Zero Coalition, and Race to Zero.

According to the report, zero-emission fuel production currently in the pipeline could end up covering just a quarter of the fuel needed to deliver the breakthrough. However, if more projects are successful, zero-emission fuel production could be up to twice as much as is needed, even when accounting for other sectors’ fuel needs.

Splash 24/7


New report provides comprehensive plan to meet U.S. net-zero goals and ensure fair and equitable energy transition

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides a broad set of recommendations that form a comprehensive plan to put the U.S. on a pathway to realize its net-zero carbon emissions goals by 2050 and ensure that all Americans can benefit from a fair and equitable energy transition.

The second of two reports examining the nation’s transition to a decarbonized energy system, the new report focuses on gaps and barriers to implementation of net-zero policies, emphasizing the need for a strong social contract during the decades-long transition. The first report provided a technical and federal policy blueprint for the next 10 years, and its recommendations helped shape climate policies included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, and Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.



China reboots its Belt and Road Initiative

A decade after its launch, China is trying to revive its sprawling infrastructure program by making it a lot less risky.

A reboot of the program is under way as Chinese leader Xi Jinping prepares to host a 10th anniversary bash for the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing this week. The goal is to breathe new life into a project that remains central to China’s global ambitions after a rocky spell of bad debts and costly bailouts—while preventing a repeat of the excesses that contributed to those troubles in the first place.

The megaprojects of the past are giving way to smaller, more targeted deals, including in sectors such as green energy and healthcare. A bigger pool of Chinese lenders is putting up financing following a pullback in lending by China’s large policy banks. Rather than charging in alone, these newcomers are teaming up with Western banks and multilateral lenders to tap their experience in managing the risks of doling out big sums to shaky borrowers.

The Wall Street Journal


World Investment Forum 2023: Global leaders urge action for sustainable development

The 8th World Investment Forum, organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), opened today in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, focusing on the investment challenges faced by the world's developing countries amid today's global crises.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a statement, urged participants—heads of state, business leaders, sustainable stock exchanges, sovereign wealth funds and experts— to put the SDG Stimulus Package into effect and work towards delivering $500 billion annual investment for developing countries.

He also called on governments to establish a fair price on carbon and companies to implement credible net-zero plans, aligning with the recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities.      



UK, South Korea agree two-year extension on zero-tariff rules

The UK and South Korea agreed to extend a current agreement on low- and zero-tariff trade for two years, in a boost to Britain’s car industry.

The agreement, a legacy of EU membership which was due to expire at the end of the year, allowed British businesses whose products contain materials from the EU to export products to South Korea while avoiding high tariffs under so-called rules of origin.

The two countries are also preparing to enter talks before the end of the year on a new “modernized” trade deal, which will cover new sectors such as digital, the Department for Business and Trade said on Monday in a statement. Annual trade between the two countries is worth about £18 billion ($21.9 billion).



US to tighten curbs on China’s access to advanced chip tech

The US plans to tighten sweeping measures to restrict China’s access to advanced semiconductors and chipmaking gear, seeking to prevent its geopolitical rival from obtaining cutting-edge technologies that could give it a military edge.

The latest rules aim to refine and close loopholes from curbs announced last October, according to people familiar with the matter. The Biden administration is seeking to strengthen controls on selling graphics chips for artificial intelligence applications and advanced chipmaking equipment to Chinese firms, the people said, asking not to be named because the rules aren’t yet public.

The US will also impose additional checks on Chinese firms attempting to evade export restrictions by routing shipments through other nations, and add Chinese chip design firms to a trade restriction list, requiring overseas manufacturers to gain a US license to fill orders from those companies.