What's China doing in Africa (including Libya) and to the climate?

Time for some random links on China: 

China's provinces v other economiesChina may now be the world’s second-biggest economy, but some of its provinces by themselves would rank fairly high in the global league. This map from a recent Economist shows the nearest equivalent country. For example, Guangdong’s GDP (at market exchange rates) is almost as big as Indonesia’s; the output of both Jiangsu and Shandong exceeds Switzerland’s.

Elsewhere, China in Africa author Deborah Brautigam examines recent Chinese efforts to construct a series of official economic cooperation zones in Africa. These zones are a central platform in China’s announced strategy of engagement in Africa as ‘mutual benefit’.

She discusses China and Libya. What does China want and how is it reacting to the crisis? Answer – not always as the stereotypes would suggest. She also links to a piece by Xan Rice at the Guardian with some nice interviews with Chinese entrepreneurs in Africa, whose voice is seldom heard.

Meanwhile, the news in Africa may be encouraging, but China’s record on carbon emissions is a lot worse than all the ‘green growth’ coverage suggests, according to the Climate Progress blog. Carbon emissions from energy production have accelerated in previous years (see bar chart), because China’s overall carbon intensity (how much CO2 is emitted per unit of GDP) has got stuck and is still where it was in the late 1990s (see line graph). Reliance on CO2-spewing coal power stations underpins both trends.

China CO2 emissionsChina_carbon intensity

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