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Biden’s Solar Ambitions Collide With China Labor Complaints

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Workers install solar panels at a photovoltaic power station in Hami in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Monday Aug. 22, 2011. The Biden administration's solar power ambitions are colliding with complaints the global industry depends on Chinese raw materials that might be produced by forced labor. One big hurdle is polysilicon from Xinjiang, commonly used to make photovoltaic cells for solar panels. (Chinatopix via AP)

(AP) — The Biden administration’s solar power ambitions are colliding with complaints the global industry depends on Chinese raw materials that might be produced by forced labor. A big hurdle is polysilicon, used to make solar panels. The global industry gets 45% of its supply from Xinjiang, the northwestern region where the ruling Communist Party is accused of mass incarceration of minorities and other abuses. Other parts of China supply 35%. Only 20% comes from U.S. and other producers. Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, says Washington is deciding whether to block solar products from Xinjiang. That would conflict with President Joe Biden’s plans to cut climate-changing U.S. carbon emissions by promoting solar.

 

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