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COP28 climate talks complicated by UAE oil deals
COP28: Oil-rich UAE and the dilemma of hosting a global climate summit | World In: 60 | GZERO Media

COP28 climate talks complicated by UAE oil deals

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Will the UAE’s pursuit of oil deals during COP28 undermine the summit's climate goals?

Well, it certainly doesn't make it any easier. I mean, this is the time when the world comes together and tries to reduce the level of carbon in the atmosphere, and the fact that it's being hosted by one of the world's largest oil producers and by the chairman, the CEO of one of the world's largest oil companies, who also is driving his country's sustainability goals. Well, I mean, I guess you can say he's hedged. You can definitely say that but you can also say it's challenging and problematic. Look, there was a chance that COP was going to fall apart completely and you were just going to have fragmented bilateral deals. The Chinese, for example, get much more influence giving out money directly in return for things with countries than being a part of a multilateral group. Having said that, US and China recently have come together on climate in advance, specifically of COP28, and there is more movement on methane emissions from the two largest emitters in the world. There's more movement on carbon capture and storage than we've seen before. Look, I'm glad the meetings happened. It is happening. It's going to be more successful than it not showing up. But there are big challenges and you're going to hear those frustrations loudly from the developing world who are taking climate on the chin.

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Hou Yu-ih, left, candidate for Taiwan's presidency from the main opposition Kuomintang Party, and Jaw Shaw-Kong, vice presidential candidate, wave at the Central Election Commission in Taipei on Nov. 24, 2023.


Taiwan’s unity ticket falls apart at the altar

The opposition’s shotgun wedding is off in Taiwan. Just two weeks ago, with the blessing of Beijing, the Kuomintang Party and the Taiwan People’s Party announced their intention to field a single candidate in the country’s Jan. 13 election in the hopes of defeating the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. It was a move cheered by China, which is no fan of the current frontrunner, DPP’s pro-independence candidate, William Lai Ching-te.

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Eric Chu, Taiwan’s main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, Hou Yu-ih, KMT presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, former Taiwan president and Ke Wen-je, presidential candidate from the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) pose after thier meeting on November 15, 2023.

EYEPRESS via Reuters

Will Taiwan’s opposition unity ticket remain united?

The two main Taiwanese opposition parties are deadlocked over how to interpret the polls that will determine which of their preferred presidential candidates squares up against incumbent party candidate William Lai in January. If they don’t reach an agreement by Wednesday — it’s looking unlikely — Lai’s probable victory will likely raise tensions across the Taiwan Strait and pose problems for the US-China relationship.

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Eric Chu, Hou Yu-ih, Ma Ying-jeou and Ko Wen-je hold hands as they pose for a group photo in Taipei, Taiwan.


Opposition unity in Taiwan lifts hopes in Beijing

On the sidelines at Wednesday’s APEC meeting in San Francisco, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping received news that might make US-Chinese relations a little less tense, as Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election campaign just got a lot more interesting.

For months, the current vice president, William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party, has been favored to win on Jan. 13, in part because his two main challengers, Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang Party and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party, were expected to split the anti-Lai vote. But on Wednesday, the two opposition parties announced they would form a unity coalition behind a single candidate to defeat Lai and the DPP.

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A general view of damage due to volcanic activity at a golf course, in Grindavik, Iceland Nov. 11, 2023.

RUV/Ragnar Visage/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Iceland's eruption alert, Scott's campaign ends, Myanmar junta's challenge, Japan's evacuation drill, Aussie's Tuvalu deal, Djibouti's first satellite

12: All eyes are on Iceland as the island nation braces for a volcanic eruption on a 12-mile stretch of the Reykjanes Peninsula. The town of Grindavik, population 3,000, has been evacuated after hundreds of earthquakes rattled the country within 48 hours and amid fears that it could be completely obliterated.

7: Sen. Tim Scott on Sunday suspended his campaign for the presidency just four days after the latest presidential debate in Miami and amid reported fundraising woes. Scott's departure leaves 7 contenders vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

50,000: A Myanmar fighter jet crashed Saturday near the country’s border with Thailand during fighting between military forces and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, who claimed responsibility for downing the plane. The ruling junta, installed after a 2021 coup, says the jet crashed due to a technical problem. The military is battling rebels on numerous fronts, including in Shan State on the border with China, where 50,000 people have fled since an anti-junta offensive was launched last month by three ethnic minority insurgent groups.

200: Japan held a tsunami evacuation drill on Yonaguni, its westernmost island, which sits just 68 miles from Taiwan. In anticipation of that country’s presidential elections in January and amid fears of Chinese aggression, Tokyo twinned the exercise with a drill to help residents respond to any attempt by Beijing to take control of Taiwan. About 200 Yonaguni officials and members of Japan's Self-Defense Force took part in the exercise.

280: Under a new treaty called the Falepili Union, Australia will grant 280 visas per year to residents of the low-lying island nation of Tuvalu, which is at risk from rising seas thanks to the effects of climate change. It marks the first time Australia has offered residency to foreign nationals based on this threat. The treaty also commits Australia to defend Tuvalu from military aggression and obliges Tuvalu to forgo other defense pacts unless it obtains Australia’s prior approval.

1A: In collaboration with engineers at the French Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier, the African Republic of Djibouti launched its first satellite this weekend from the Vandenberg Space Force Base. Djibouti 1A will collect national, real-time data from climatological and seismic stations, including temperature, rainfall, river depth, and hydrometry, to help boost agricultural production and monitor environmental changes.

A Philippine supply boat sails near a Chinese Coast Guard ship during a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed at a grounded warship in the South China Sea, on Oct. 4, 2023.

REUTERS/Adrian Portugal

Can Biden-Xi meeting ease tensions?

In the lead-up to the upcoming meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the APEC Summit in San Francisco, America’s China policy chief sat down with Beijing’s top border official to discuss the increasingly volatile situation in the South China and East China Seas.

US Department of State’s China Coordinator Mark Lambert spoke with Chinese Foreign Office’s Director-General for Boundary and Ocean Affairs Hong Liang in Beijing, with both sides attempting to lower the temperature after another week of tensions in the region.

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Scores of foreign passport holders trapped in Gaza started leaving the war-torn Palestinian territory on Nov. 1 -- some are seen here waiting at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip before crossing into Egypt.

Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto

Hard Numbers: Egypt accepts Gazan evacuees, Debating a 70-hour work week, Pushing voters buttons with warplanes, Afghan refugee arrests

400: On Wednesday, Egypt allowedmore than 400 people, injured Palestinians and foreign nationals, to enter the country from Gaza. These were the first refugees allowed across the border, and Egypt will face international pressure to accept many more. Egypt’s government, fearing the long-term burden that large numbers of refugees might impose, will continue to resist.

70: Indian software billionaire NR Narayana Murthy kicked off a furious debate within his country with a recent comment that India’s young people should work 70 hours per week. (Mr. Murthy is the father-in-law of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.)

43: Taiwan’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday it had detected 43 Chinese warplanes and seven naval vessels near the island in a single 24-hour period. There are many reasons why Beijing is unlikely to launch a war anytime soon, but it does hope to persuade Taiwan’s voters to elect a new president in January who has a more cooperative relationship with Beijing than the outgoing incumbent has had.

1.7 million: On Wednesday, authorities in Pakistan began nationwide arrests of Afghan refugees who lack permission to remain in the country as the deadline passed for undocumented Afghans to leave. There are some 1.7 million undocumented Afghans still in Pakistan, and Pakistan’s government hopes the arrests will spur more to leave on their own.

People walk next to damaged trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, in Acapulco, Mexico, on Oct. 29, 2023.

REUTERS/Quetzalli Nicte-Ha

Hard Numbers: Otis death toll mounts, Taiwanese march for marriage equality, illegal Indian migrants in the US, South Africa’s rugby win, Sweden proves No. 1

43: The death toll in Acapulco following Hurricane Otis now stands at 43. Another five were killed in nearby Coyuca de Benitez, and dozens of people remain missing. Authorities say more than 220,000 homes and 80% of the hotel sector have been damaged, while more than 513,000 people have lost power.

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