China Denies U-Turn On CO2 Emissions

“It’s not the case that the Chinese government has made any decision. I’m not a government official and I don’t represent the government.” — Professor Jiankun He, director of the Low Carbon Economy Lab of Tsinghua Universtiy and deputy director of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change, 3 June 2014

h/t to The GWPF

China Denies U-Turn On CO2 Emissions

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 June 2014

[Yesterday] morning, a Chinese climate adviser announced that the country was going to limit its carbon dioxide emissions. Now he has backed down and says: “That was just my personal opinion. What I have said does not represent the view of the Chinese government.”

Was this really just a gaffe? Earlier in the day, He Jiankun, a Chinese climate adviser announced that the People’s Republic of China would cap its carbon emissions. That was a powerful statement, at least it was perceived as such – not least because the American president also announced that he was more determined than ever to mobilise against carbon dioxide emissions.

But China is already backing down. “What I have said today was my personal opinion,” He told the Reuters news agency in Beijing. His statements from the morning session were intended only for “academic studies”. “What I have said does not represent the view of the Chinese government or of any organisation,” he clarified .

At a [green energy] conference He had earlier said the world’s largest CO2 producer would, for the first time, cap its greenhouse gas emissions to a specified upper limit. This, he claimed, would be firmly anchored in China’s upcoming five-year plan that will come into force in 2016. Coming soon after the announcement of new measures by the U.S. government the day before, this announcement had raised hopes of an international breakthrough in the fight against global climate change. What now?

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)

Reality Check: How A Chinese Renewable Energy Boffin Fooled The World’s Green Media

The New York Times, 3 June 2014

Andrew Revkin

Having covered China’s stance on global warming since 1988, I’ve gotten attuned to the need to tread carefully when something is said that feels like a shift in the official position of this greenhouse gas giant.

The ancient Chinese mask-changing dance that I saw here Tuesday night (at a dinner for participants in a meeting on science and sustainable development) came to mind in considering the unraveling of news a few hours earlier of an official Chinese plan for a firm cap on emissions of carbon dioxide, hard on the heels of President Obama’s proposed carbon pollution rules for existing American power plants.

Here’s how things played out. An adviser to the Chinese government on climate change was quoted by Reuters as saying the following at a Beijing climate-policy conference on Tuesday:

“The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap.”

The comment came from He Jiankun, a professor at Tsinghua and deputy director of China’s Expert Committee on Climate Change, speaking at an international forum on market mechanisms for low-carbon development sponsored by Harvard University and Tsinghua University.

The story quickly pivoted to how significant this would be given the context of President Obama’s move and informal climate talks starting on Wednesday in Bonn, Germany, aimed at setting the stage for fresh climate treaty work later this year at the United Nations and in Lima, Peru.

The Guardian quickly followed Reuters with “China pledges to limit carbon emissions for first time,” a piece canvassing climate campaigners but offering no reinforcing input from the Chinese government.

I consulted with The Times’s Beijng bureau. Christopher Buckley, a reporter who in 2011 had covered China’s emissions plans while with Reuters, spoke with He Jiankun, who told him repeatedly that he did not in any way speak for the government, or the full expert climate committee.

Here’s Buckley’s translation:

“It’s not the case that the Chinese government has made any decision. This is a suggestion from experts, because now they are exploring how emissions can be controlled in the 13th Five Year Plan…. This is a view of experts; that’s not saying it’s the government’s. I’m not a government official and I don’t represent the government.”

A Reuters reporter told me tonight that a correction was being posted, but not before other newspapers – including USA Today with a piece on China’s “emissions pledge” – built on the report.

Full story

Who He?

Green Growth

Professor Jiankun He is the professor and the director of Low Carbon Economy Lab of Tsinghua Universtiy, and the deputy director of National Expert Committee on Climate Change. He is also the former Executive Vice President of the University of Tsinghua and former Dean of the School of Economics and Management.

Professor He is a leading professor in the field of energy economics and climate policy. He has been engaged in research on energy system analysis and modeling, counter global climate change strategy, resource management and sustainable development for many years. He has been principal investigators of many national key science and technology projects and international collaborative research projects.

Professor He has been awarded the National Award for Science and Technology progress, the Awards for Science and Technology Progress of the Ministry of Education of China for three times, and the Awards for Science and Technology Progress at the provincial or ministry level for five times.

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Bob Diaz
June 4, 2014 8:09 am

It’s a good game that China is playing. Make it sound like they are putting a cap on CO2, let the US impose limits, them back down and profit from the fact that production in the US will cost more.

June 4, 2014 8:09 am

Headline readers rejoice…China has seen the light!…..Oh wait…. Maybe not. Want to bet there will be very little reporting of this retraction? The alarmist have a phantom partner and will ride it to the end. As for the spokesman who it appears was straightened out quickly, I wonder when the announcement of his “retirement ” will come.

June 4, 2014 8:13 am

Off topic…. Does WUWT have a beginners tutorial ? Education of the population is key to changing this madness brought on by alarmists.

June 4, 2014 8:13 am

I think prof He is an acronym for Maurice Strong.

June 4, 2014 8:14 am

If you really want to know what China is doing, I suggest examining their nuclear power building projects that are ongoing, in addition to their stated plans for future plants, and also their LPG imports to support their new natural gas power plants,etc etc., rather than engaging in mind reading and the examination of Chinese tea leaves. All that’s good for is to satisfy some NY Times journalist’s article quota.

June 4, 2014 8:25 am

the damage has been done….all anyone will remember is China agrees with Obama

June 4, 2014 8:27 am

China and the US are doing the same thing, all talk and no action. Thank goodness for liberalism!

June 4, 2014 8:50 am

If I were totally unscrupulous, I would announce my support for the IPCC, agree to their program, cap CO2 emissions, then do absolutely nothing. Oh, wait…

June 4, 2014 8:54 am

I think China will do as they please, and so will everyone else, including nature.
ffohnad, my page “Observatorio ARVAL – Climate Change; The cyclic nature of Earth’s climate”, at can serve as a tutorial, I hope you like it.

June 4, 2014 8:55 am

And O’Bummer fell for it…

Tim Walker
June 4, 2014 9:18 am

China made a smart move. Encourage US idiocy while continuing to do what is best for the growing Chinese economy. Anyone know of a good course in Standard Mandarin?

Tim Walker
June 4, 2014 9:23 am

Monroe says:
June 4, 2014 at 8:27 am
China and the US are doing the same thing, all talk and no action. Thank goodness for liberalism!
You need to look at what the US has been doing and what the state of California has been doing. Are you just a troll? The US is following Europe’s lead in hurting our economy in order to: make some individuals richer, play for a UN controlled government of the western world, and just being stupid kinda like your statement.

June 4, 2014 9:39 am

China has it down pat.
Make all the right noises, be ‘very concerned’, talk about solutions….
But, above all, make keeping your economy on track the number one priority.
There is no sense in the ‘idealistic patsy’ approach of some governments: They and their country will be economically chewed up and spat out, and no-one will even stop and say “Well, thanks for trying”.

June 4, 2014 10:44 am

False reporting and/or unchecked facts. Report what you wish were true and think it will help make it happen.
Hactivists spinning the facts in an attempt to “build momentum”.
Alarmists are now retreating into some delusional world where having lost the scientific debate (that they refused to have) they imagine they can just state that the game is over, the debate is settled, and even the chinese are now on board.
The next phase is sitting in the corner, rocking slowly back and forth with an inane grin and a vacant look in the eyes. Dreaming of how wonderful the world now is without that evil CO2.

June 4, 2014 12:29 pm

China will steal the best carbon mitigation technologies via cyberattacks & spear-phishing….they will then use these technologies for their own carbon sources, and sell the stolen technologies to the countries that bought into carbon control.
Let’s face it, they do it with everything else! Ask Siemens etc.

June 4, 2014 3:35 pm

CRS, DrPH says: (June 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm) “China will steal the best carbon mitigation technologies via cyberattacks & spear-phishing….they will then use these technologies for their own carbon sources, and sell the stolen technologies to the countries that bought into carbon control.“. IMHO, not quite right. China might steal and sell, but surely they aren’t daft enough to use.

June 4, 2014 11:12 pm

Chinese media carry the Botkin story!
5 June: South China Morning Post: Howard Winn: When it comes to earth’s climate, change is normal
Those convinced that human-induced global warming is going to bring an end to the world as we know it would do well to read the testimony by Dr Daniel Botkin, Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
His testimony was given to the US House Subcommittee on Science, Space and Technology, which was examining the 2014 report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
He adopts a refreshingly dispassionate and clear approach to a controversial subject that is usually couched in highly charged emotional terms.
Botkin has been publishing research on theoretical global warming, its potential ecological effects, and the implications for people and biodiversity since 1968.
In his testimony, he says he approached the subject as a scientist but laments that in recent years “the subject has been converted into a political and ideological debate”…
Botkin acknowledges the world has been going through a “warming period driven by a variety of influences”, but says this is not unusual, and contrary to the characterisations by the IPCC and the White House National Climate Assessment, “these environmental changes are not apocalyptic nor irreversible”…
Commenting on the warming period and the current plateau, where the earth’s temperature has not changed for the past 17 years, he says: “The rate of change we are experiencing is also not unprecedented, and the ‘mystery’ of the warming ‘plateau’ simply indicates the inherent complexity of our global biosphere.
“Change is normal, life on earth is inherently risky; it always has been. The two reports, however, makes it seem that environmental change is apocalyptic and irreversible. It is not.”
He draws attention to the weakness of the climate models…

June 5, 2014 4:59 am

Right now, China should be worrying about mercury, flourine, Ozone, Sulfur etc.. CO2 is about the only good thing they are producing.

June 6, 2014 10:34 am

For all you futurist: From whom will China steal technology after the demise of the US and UK?

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