In Briefs

Succinct rundowns on the world’s most important developments, produced by CFR’s scholars and editorial team. 

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Energy and Environment
Biden Wants to Increase U.S. Offshore Wind Energy. Can He Do It?
The Biden administration has unveiled plans to dramatically ramp up the nation’s offshore wind industry to help fulfill U.S. climate pledges. How realistic is the roadmap?
China’s Disappeared: How Beijing Silences Critics
The Chinese government has used a variety of tactics to silence its critics. Could international attention on tennis player Peng Shuai’s case push Beijing to change?
The Crisis in Sudan: What to Know
Neither the military nor pro-democracy forces are backing down after last month’s coup. The stakes are high not only for Sudan, but also for fragile democracies across Africa.
How to Energize NATO’s Response to Russia’s Threats Against Ukraine
Fears of a Russian military offensive against Ukraine are back. NATO should bolster support for Kyiv and the United States should signal new efforts to thwart a controversial Russian energy pipeline.
United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II Is the Monarch of Sixteen Countries. What Does That Mean?
Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of fifteen countries in addition to the United Kingdom. Now, Barbados’s transition to a republic is reviving debate over the future of the Crown.
Climate Change
COP26: Here’s What Countries Pledged
Governments endorsed the Glasgow Climate Pact and made new pledges on deforestation, methane emissions, coal, and more. But critics say they failed to secure more ambitious commitments to limit global warming.
Climate Change
What COP26 Did and Didn’t Accomplish
Countries made notable commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact, but they still fell short of the action needed to keep global warming within manageable levels.
What Xi Jinping’s Elevated Status Signals for Chinese Foreign Policy
China will be even more self-confident now that Xi’s hold on power was confirmed during the Chinese Communist Party’s plenum.
Energy and Environment
COP26: Can the World Slash Coal Use by 2030?
During COP26, some countries pledged to stop using coal, a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. But China, India, and some others remain reliant on coal.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: Visualizing a Year of Global Progress and Inequity
It’s been almost a year since the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved, and half of the world is at least partly vaccinated. What’s getting in the way of wider distribution?
Is Russia Using Energy as a Weapon Again?
Putin and Gazprom didn’t create Europe’s new gas crisis, but they are happy to exploit it.
Middle East and North Africa
What Erdogan’s Struggles Mean for U.S.-Turkey Relations
An imprisoned opponent, dire economic conditions, and ongoing tensions with the United States all pose challenges to President Erdogan’s increasingly erratic leadership.
Climate Change
COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow: What to Expect
Experts have warned that time is running out to avoid climate catastrophe. Will the global climate conference spark action?
Drug Policy
The U.S. Fentanyl Crisis: What to Know
The United States is being flooded with fentanyl-laced fake pills, exacerbating an opioid crisis already spiraling amid the pandemic.
What’s Next for U.S. Trade With China?
This week, the Biden administration outlined its approach to trade with China. Here’s what to know.