World’s Worst Polluter China Increases Coal Production by 300 Million Tons

This photo taken on November 15, 2021 shows the coal-powered Datang International Zhangjia
Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese state media announced on Wednesday that coal production will increase by a whopping 300 million tons in 2022 to “ensure energy supplies,” making a mockery of Beijing’s breezy promises to climate change activists.

The Chinese Communist government enjoys lecturing the rest of the world about climate change and signing high-profile global warming treaties with gullible and opportunistic Western leaders like President Joe Biden, but when the rubber hits the road, China’s steely-eyed rulers will do whatever it takes to keep their factories humming. If that means burning epic amounts of high-pollution coal, both within China’s borders and across its Third World interests, then so be it.

China’s state-run Global Times reported on a meeting at which “energy experts” said China spent 2021 “learning a lesson” about inadequate energy supplies and will now unapologetically “push relevant energy projects that have mature conditions and fit the nation’s development needs.”

“In particular, the State Council meeting said that China should support coal as a main energy source by improving review and approval mechanisms on coal production and project construction, as well as releasing advanced capacity,” the Global Times added.

The State Council also decided China will forge ahead with the “orderly” development of nuclear power, approving six new nuclear power plants.

Nuclear power remains taboo for the Western environmental movement, which grows very irritable when proposals are made to develop clean nuclear energy instead of the vastly inferior, incredibly expensive solar and wind projects it prefers. 

China just happens to have cornered the market on the crucial materials needed for non-nuclear “green energy” projects, and dominates green industries like solar panel manufacturing with collusion from Western politicians like Biden, but does not hesitate to build nuclear plants and burn astounding volumes of coal to satisfy its own energy needs.

The only bone tossed to the climate change movement in the Global Times report was a Chinese academic suggesting China would “transform” its coal-fired power plants so they can “start or stop operation more flexibly to adapt to the trend of applying wind power in large amounts.”

China underwent a serious energy crisis in the latter half of 2021, driven by what Forbes called a “perfect storm” of events that included actual storms which flooded China’s coal mines. Other factors included “resurgent demand for Chinese goods in the wake of pandemic easing, conflicting CCP [Chinese Communist Party] energy policies, and extreme market distortions, including power rationing and price controls.”

The authoritarian Chinese government obviously is not about to give up its power to distort markets, ration vital goods, and control prices, so as the Global Times report indicated on Wednesday, it will do whatever is necessary to ensure enough of a power supply to overcome both natural disasters and Communist foibles. 

China was already digging, importing, and burning record amounts of coal last year, and its consumption will only increase for the foreseeable future, no matter what Chinese envoys say at climate conferences. The vaunted Paris climate accords give China a great deal of latitude to increase its emissions throughout the coming decade, so this mountain of burning coal technically does not violate China’s “agreement,” leaving environmentalists to quietly grumble that Beijing is undermining the “spirit” of the accord without breaking it.


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