China is planning massively to ramp up its coal-fired energy production. This makes a nonsense of claims by gullible Western politicians and dishonest environmental activists that China is as keen as anyone to do its bit to ‘combat climate change.’
Bloomberg reports that China now has enough coal-fired power plants in the pipeline to match the entire capacity of the European Union, ‘driving the expansion in global coal power and confounding the movement against the polluting fossil fuel.’
The nation has almost 148 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity under active construction or likely to be resumed after being suspended, Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that tracks coal stations, said in the report Thursday based on plant-by-plant data. That’s almost equivalent to 150 gigawatts of existing coal fleet capacity in the EU and more than the combined 105 gigawatts under construction in the rest of the world, it said.
In contrast to many other countries, including the U.K.’s pledge to shut all coal plants by 2025, Beijing remains committed to coal as its biggest source of power, representing a major challenge to global emissions reduction targets. Its additions in the 18 months to June dwarf declines elsewhere in the world, according to the report.
None of this will come as the slightest surprise to climate realists. One of their main arguments against concerted government action by the West to decarbonise its economies is that it takes no account of emerging economies like India’s and, especially, China’s. Any attempts to cut carbon dioxide production in Western economies are more than offset by the growth in China’s CO2 output.
This was predicted in a report published last year by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
As the report’s author, Patricia Adams explained:
“The Chinese have spent a lot of money on renewables without results on anything like the scale required. So despite their continuing outward support for the green agenda, China is actually going all out for fossil fuels. The Communist Party’s grip on power depends on it.”
In his foreword to the paper, former U.S. Ambassador and U.S. special envoy to the UNFCCC Dr Harland Watson said:
“Many in the environmental community look to China to assume the role of global climate leader. But Patricia Adams questions China’s interest in assuming this role as the need for continued economic growth means securing new energy supplies will take priority over climate change concerns.”
The report was, of course, largely ignored by the mainstream media which prefers to listen to ‘experts’ like Nicholas Stern.
Only three years ago Nicholas Stern – amusingly billed by the Guardian as ‘an eminent climate economist’, even though his infamous ‘Stern Report’ has been widely discredited for its poor understanding of climate science and economics – was hailing China’s ‘Coal Peak’ as a ‘Turning point in the history of the world’.
The Guardian‘s July 2016 report began with a flourish:
The global battle against climate change has passed a historic turning point with China’s huge coal burning finally having peaked, according to senior economists.
They say the moment may well be a significant milestone in the course of the Anthropocene, the current era in which human activity dominates the world’s environment.
China is the world’s biggest polluter and more than tripled its coal burning from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide. But its coal consumption peaked in 2014, much earlier than expected, and then began falling.
According to ’eminent’ economist Stern, this was a key moment in the war on climate change:
“I think it is a real turning point,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, an eminent climate economist at the London School of Economics, who wrote the analysis with colleagues from Tsinghua University in Beijing. “I think historians really will see [the coal peak of] 2014 as a very important event in the history of the climate and economy of the world.”
Except, of course, that it wasn’t and it isn’t. China wants economic growth and feels under no obligation to kowtow to the green sky fairy invented by activists in the West to justify their fixation with renewable energy.
This tension between green aspirations and economic reality is only likely to intensify.
According to a separate report, produced by the Stockholm Environment Institute, growing fossil fuel output is likely to ‘swamp’ any attempts agreed by the Paris Climate Accord to limit global CO2 output.
Oil, gas and coal output already planned or in the pipeline will overwhelm efforts to cap global warming at levels consistent with a liveable planet, the UN and leading research groups warned Wednesday […]
[…] “We show for the first time just how big the disconnect is between Paris temperature goals and countries’ plans and policies for coal, oil and gas production,” said lead author Michael Lazarus, director of the Stockholm Environment Institute’s US Center.
This “production gap”—between output in the pipeline and the Paris climate goals—is largest for coal, according the report, a joint project by the UN Environment Programme and four climate change research centres.
Countries plan to produce 150 percent more coal by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2C world, and 280 percent more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5C.
Greta Thunberg can wag her little index finger all she likes. The global economy just isn’t listening.