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Southeast Asia

Borneo's orangutans are under threat from farming, climate change, and being hunted for food

The orangutan population on the island of Borneo has shrunk by a quarter in the last decade, researchers said Friday, urging a rethink of strategies to protect the critically-endangered great ape.

Read more: Borneo's orangutans in 'alarming' decline: study

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Photo by Bloomberg

When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

Read more: As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants

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A worker speaks as he loads coal on a truck at a depot near a coal mine from the state-owned Longmay Group on the outskirts of Jixi, in Heilongjiang province, China (October 24, 2015). Image Credit: REUTERS/Jason Lee

Asia’s sudden shift away from coal and toward renewable energy will have a global impact.

The sudden shift, years ahead of schedule, from coal toward renewables is remaking Asia’s energy economy – with repercussions to be felt across the world. The present – and future – does not look good for what, only a few years ago, seemed like a sure long-term bet: Coal.

“Solar is competing head to head with coal in India and winning… and in China coal use is declining, the solar market is booming. These are not temporary anomalies but rather seismic shifts,” said Nicole Ghio, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s International Climate and Energy Campaign.

If Asia’s developing countries can grow using less coal and more clean energy, it gives hope not only to the global climate, but could herald a new era of development in the region at the heart of the global economy.

Read more: Asia and the Fall of Coal

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