If left unchecked, bitcoin miners in China could consume as much energy as the UK by 2024. The recent Chinese government crackdown, which banned crypto mining in coal-rich Inner Mongolia, can only help rein in the sector’s voracious appetite for cheap energy, which often has a hefty carbon cost.

But bitcoin’s energy demand isn’t just a Chinese problem – it’s a global one. In attics, shipping containers and vans all over the world, stacks of mining computers worth millions of dollars are running 24/7 to generate bitcoins, causing power outages and forcing up fossil fuel consumption, pushing climate goals further out of reach. The answer, according to international development expert Peter Howson, is global cooperation to outlaw mining equipment and end cryptocurrency price speculation.

Another problem crying out for global action is the proliferation of tax havens, which could still pose a difficulty even after the agreement of a historic deal for a global minimum corporation tax rate in advance of this week’s G7 summit. Elsewhere, we learn about the Hekking Mona Lisa – and why fakes of masterpieces can still net a fortune.

Tomorrow is World Oceans Day. Join us at 4pm BST for a live webinar where I’ll be talking to experts about the history of life in the ocean and why so much rests on how the next decade unfolds.

Jack Marley

Environment + Energy Editor

Anucha Cheechang/Shutterstock

Bitcoin: China’s crackdown isn’t enough – only a global effort can stop crypto’s monstrous energy demand

Peter Howson, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Chinese bitcoin mining could consume as much energy as the whole of the UK by 2024.

US and UK finance ministers Janet Yellen and Rishi Sunak at G7 meeting in London. EPA

G7 deal: UK is badly conflicted between offshore tax havens and Biden’s global tax drive

Atul K. Shah, City, University of London

UK will come under pressure to bring about change in its overseas territories, but only up to a point.

The Hekking Mona Lisa is arguably the most famous reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece. Christie's Images Ltd

The Hekking Mona Lisa – where the value of a painting, even a very good copy, lies

Gabriele Neher, University of Nottingham

The reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's work is set to fetch a lot at auction. But why would a fake cost so much?

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