Sam Morgan The Jolt - 13/November/2023

The Jolt: Tesla’s Chinese fortunes hang in EU balance

In Monday’s edition of The Jolt, Sam looks at why Tesla desperately wants to be part of an EU probe into Chinese electric car subsidies, plus the UK plans to roll out its own carbon border tax


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Welcome to today’s episode of The Jolt by FORESIGHT Climate & Energy. In a world underpinned by climate and energy stories, it is sometimes hard to cut through the cacophony of noise and get to the news you need to hear.

This is where The Jolt comes in. Tune in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for bite-sized updates, expert analysis and a global view.

We kick off with a look at the major global climate and energy news stories.



What you need to know

Here are some of the main climate and energy stories making the news around the world:

  • China could peak its CO2 emissions this year and start reducing them in 2024 thanks to record clean energy growth, according to a new study. Decarbonisation efforts still need to contend with coal power expansion though and the two issues will surely come to a head in the coming months.
  • The United Kingdom will reportedly launch a carbon border tax in 2026 with an announcement due later this month. The planned system will likely closely mirror the European Union’s CBAM instrument.
  • A giant wind farm could meet all of the Isle of Man’s power needs, according to Danish firm Ørsted, which plans to lodge planning permission for the site in 2025. One hundred turbines off the coast of the Irish Sea island would generate enough to meet peak demand with plenty of surplus left over. It could be fully online by 2030.
  • More than 80,000 people joined what is being called the largest ever climate march ever staged in the Netherlands. The mass protest hit the streets of Amsterdam ahead of a general election scheduled for November 22nd.
  • The European Union’s flagship research project—Horizon Europe—will have a budget of €12.9 billion in 2024, an €85 million increase on this year.
  • Australia’s main grid ran on 72.9% renewable power for a brief period this weekend, marking yet another clean energy milestone. In the state of Victoria, power needs were met by 95% renewables during a five-minute-long window. Victoria aims for 95% clean power year-round by 2035.
  • Peru is enacting new environmental and health standards in order to try and attract more than $1 billion in investments into its mining and energy industries. Peru is the second-largest global supplier of copper, a crucial material for energy applications.
  • Oil and gas major Exxon will move into the lithium mining business in 2026 and will publish a lithium strategy later today (November 13th). The fossil fuel giant will start off by operating a mine in the US state of Arkansas.
  • A Ukrainian military officer handled logistics for the operation that sabotaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines, according to reporting by the Washington Post. Colonel Roman Chervinsky ran the operation but did not plan it, claim sources contacted by the paper. Check out this episode of The Jolt all about international energy links.
  • Singaporean researchers have developed technology that can harvest energy from falling rain drops using materials sourced from old DVDs and CDs. The research team say that the tech could be mounted on windows, personal items like raincoats and umbrellas, or even on plants.


Today’s big story

Tesla’s Chinese fortunes hang in EU balance

Image MidJourney / Prompts FORESIGHT.

  • The European Union is worried that China will undermine its efforts to be a global player in electric car manufacturing by distorting the market with cheap vehicles produced using massive state subsidies.
  • A probe into Chinese EV imports has just kicked off and the EU is looking to determine the size of the problem and what needs to be done to address what Brussels officials insist is an unfair playing field.
  • As part of the initial inquest, the EU is assessing three Chinese manufacturers but US carmaker Tesla is not a part of the sample, despite exporting more EVs than anyone else from China to Europe.
  • Tesla is worried that the findings of the sample will result in default punitive duties for all China-based exporters, punishing it for subsidies that it has not necessarily received. 


“Europe is open for competition but not a race to the bottom”


  • European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says dialogue with China will remain open and that the mantra of “derisking, not decoupling” is still true despite this probe.
  • Commission spokesperson Olof Gill explains that the inquest cannot last longer than 13 months but that preliminary duties can be applied after nine months, meaning the first tangible results might be seen in July 2024.


While you’re here, check out our latest deep dive on Zimbabwe and its foray into the murky world of carbon credit trading, as well as this op-ed on how to make hydrogen production cheaper. 


Audio credit: European Commission archive.



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