China encourages coal retreat in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions


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BEIJING, (AP) – China’s ruling Communist Party is pushing coal power to revive an economy that is slow moving. It has prompted warnings that Beijing may be redoubling its efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the world’s largest source.

According to news reports official plans call this an increase in the coal production capacity of 300 million tonnes. This would be equivalent to 7% of the 4.1 billion tonnes of output last year, an increase by 5.7% over 2020.

China is the largest investor in wind and solar. However, nervous leaders called for more coal power following a drop in economic growth last year. This led to shortages that caused plant closures and breaks. Russia’s attack against Ukraine has added to the fear that foreign oil and coal supplies may be disrupted.

Shaw, Greenpeace’s senior global policy advisor, stated that the mentality of ensuring energy security had taken over, overcoming carbon neutrality. “We are now moving to a relatively inconvenient time for climate action China.”

Officials are under pressure to maintain stability as President Xi Jinping plans to challenge tradition and accept a five-year term in his role as leader of the ruling Party in the fall.

According to Caixin (a business news magazine), coal is crucial for “energy security”.

The ruling party is also building power stations to inject money into economy and revive growth. This compares to 8.1% year-on year growth.

The governments have committed to limit atmospheric temperature rise to 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) below pre-industrial levels. Leaders insist that they only want a limit on atmospheric warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists believe that even if the world meets the 2-degree temperature target set by the 2015 Paris climate accord and the Glasgow 2021 follow up agreement, it will still result in higher seas and stronger storms, the extinction of animals and plants, and more deaths from fever, smog, and other infectious diseases.

China is both the biggest coal producer and consumer. The global trends are influenced by Beijing’s actions.

The Communist Party has rejected binding emissions commitments, citing economic development. Beijing has resisted joining any government that promised to end coal power.

Shai made a speech in 2020 to the United Nations about carbon emissions. He did not set a target for quantity, but said that they would reach a peak by 2030. Xi stated that China is working towards carbon neutrality. This means that the country will eliminate as much carbon from the atmosphere as possible by planting trees and other methods than those emitted by industry or households.

According to the World Resources Institute, China is responsible for 26.1 percent global emissions. This is more than twice the U.S. contribution of 12.8 percent. According to Rhodium Group, a research company, China has more emissions than all other developed countries combined.

WRI estimates that 1.4 billion Chinese emit 8.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is less than the average US carbon dioxide emissions of 17.7 tonnes, but more than the EU average of 7.5 tonnes.

China has a huge coal supply and produced over 90% of the 4.4 million tons it burned last years. Over half of China’s oil and natural gas is imported, and its leaders view this as a strategic danger.

China seems to be aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, Claire Perry, Environmental Research Agency, stated in an email. However, using more carbon “could jeopardize or slow it down and even make it liqueur”, Claire Perry wrote.

Perry stated that coal promotion will lead to emissions “much higher then they should be” by 2030.

She stated, “This is completely against science.”

Beijing has spent hundreds of billions of money on solar and wind farm constructions to reduce its dependence on import oil and gas, and clean up the smog-choked cities. China accounted to half of all global investments in wind and solar for 2020.

But, in the near term, coal will still provide 60% of its power.

Beijing is cutting millions off jobs in order to decrease the state-owned puffed coke mining industry. However, output and consumption continue to rise.

According to authorities, they are trying to reduce carbon emissions per unit of economic output. The government reported a 3.8% drop in carbon emissions last year. This was better than the 1% target for 2020 but still lower than the 5.1% cut in 2017.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the total energy consumed in the United States increased by 5.2% last year compared with 2020. This was due to a surge in production following the renewed global demand from China.

If the incentive expenditures pay for additional bridges and train stations, it may increase carbon output. This will encourage the production high-carbon steel, cement and other materials.

Greenpeace informed me that China’s coal fired power plants are operating at only half their capacity. However, further construction can create jobs and economic activity. He stated that even though power is not required right now, local leaders are still under pressure to make it affordable.

Lee explained to me, “It locks China on a more carbon-rich pathway.” “Very difficult fix.”

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