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Articles by Global environment reporter, The Guardian Jonathan Watts

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This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Environmentalists have been heartened by Joe Biden’s victory as, if the United States rejoins the Paris Agreement as expected, it will give the world a much better chance of averting climate catastrophe. However, there are still hurdles to overcome to rein in emissions and keep warming to within 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) above preindustrial levels.

Dirty financing by China, Japan, and South Korea

Xi Jinping’s promise to make China carbon-neutral by 2060 generated optimism, but state and provincial institutions do not seem to have received the memo. Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

“Drinking poison to quench thirst” is how energy analysts describe China’s efforts to boost economic recovery by pumping money into dirty industries such as coal. No nation is as important to the global climate as China, the world’s biggest emitter, which is why President Xi Jinping’s promise to make his country carbon-neutral by 2060 generated optimism around the world.

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