China struggling to kick its coal habit despite Beijing’s big climate pledges

China struggling to kick its coal habit despite Beijing’s big climate pledges

SOURCE: CNN DATE: September 29, 2019 SNIP: [E]ven as China reiterated its commitment to reducing emissions last week in New York, earlier this month at least three large, new coal-fired power stations appeared to be either operating or under construction in Inner Mongolia in northern China. On the outskirts of the Inner Mongolian city of Xilinhot, smoke could seen swirling from a number of power plants, while others appeared to be busily under construction. China’s economy has been looking increasingly shaky after decades of unprecedented growth, driven by a global slowdown and trade competition with the United States. China’s quarterly economic growth slowed to 6.2% at the end of June, the lowest level in three decades. “This has actually been the norm that we have observed over the past few years. Whenever there is downward pressure on an economic front, there is a tendency or desire from the industry and policymakers to unleash large-scale infrastructure projects,” Greenpeace senior global policy adviser Li Shuo said. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, far outstripping rivals such as the United States, India and Australia. But amid rising concern around greenhouse gases and manmade climate change, China’s reliance on fossil fuels has come under increasing domestic and international scrutiny. President Xi Jinping announced in 2017 that tackling pollution and greenhouse gas emissions would be one of his “three battles,” along with ending poverty and excess debt. “I think on one hand, China has already become the largest manufacturer developer and investor when it comes to some of the most advanced renewable technologies,” Greenpeace’s Li said. “But on the other...
How China’s Big Overseas Initiative Threatens Global Climate Progress

How China’s Big Overseas Initiative Threatens Global Climate Progress

SOURCE: e360 DATE: January 3, 2019 SNIP: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, has been described as the most ambitious infrastructure project in history. It is a plan to finance and build roads, railways, bridges, ports, and industrial parks abroad, beginning with China’s neighbors in Central, South, and Southeast Asia and eventually reaching Western Europe and across the Pacific to Latin America. The more than 70 countries that have formally signed up to participate account for two-thirds of the world’s population, 30 percent of global GDP, and an estimated 75 percent of known energy reserves. Just building the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will absorb massive amounts of concrete, steel, and chemicals, creating new power stations, mines, roads, railways, airports, and container ports, many in countries with poor environmental oversight. But more worrying still is the vision of industrial development to follow, and the energy that is planned to fuel it. While China has imposed a cap on coal consumption at home, its coal and energy companies are on a building spree overseas. Chinese companies are involved in at least 240 coal projects in 25 of the Belt and Road countries, including in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Serbia, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. China is also financing about half of proposed new coal capacity in Egypt, Tanzania, and Zambia. The Belt and Road Initiative threatens to lock China’s partners into the same high-emission development that China is now trying to exit. So far, the majority of BRI projects are energy-related: Since 2000, Chinese-led policy banks have invested...
China’s carbon emissions set for fastest growth in 7 years

China’s carbon emissions set for fastest growth in 7 years

SOURCE: Financial Times DATE: May 29, 2018 SNIP: China’s carbon emissions are on track to rise at their fastest pace in more than seven years during 2018, casting further doubt on the ability of the Paris climate change agreement to curb dangerous greenhouse gas increases, according to a Greenpeace analysis based on Beijing’s own data. Carbon emissions in the country, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, rose 4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to calculations by the environmental group based on Chinese government statistics covering coal, cement, oil and gas. If that pace continues it would be the fastest increase since 2011. The latest finding comes as climate researchers express concern over rising emissions in China, which accounts for more than a quarter of global carbon dioxide output. Read more at Financial...