Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Mother Jones is celebrating that China has just committed $3.1 billion to help poor countries fight climate change. Mother Jones cautiously states they don’t know what China means by this statement. My guess is they know very well what China probably means – but they don’t want to detract from their climate story.
According to Mother Jones;
China followed up its promise Friday to create the world’s largest cap-and-trade program with yet another significant climate policy announcement: It will commit to spending $3.1 billion to help developing countries slash their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. China’s financial commitment, along with its new carbon market, are part of a comprehensive package of climate measures to be announced at a joint press conference featuring US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday in Washington, DC.
The new pledge, emerging from high-profile bilateral talks between the two countries, “is a game changer in international climate politics,” says Li Shuo, a climate policy analyst for Greenpeace. “It is a drastic increase from China’s previous finance commitments.”
Of course, there is much we still don’t know about China’s plans, including which projects the new multi-billion dollar pledge will end up financing, says Billy Pizer, a fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, who recently returned from a climate conference in China.
As WUWT previously reported, there is currently a coal energy rush occurring in Asia – both China and Japan are competing to finance massive industrialisation and increased coal generator capacity in poor countries.
How can financing coal capacity be reconciled with public statements about reducing CO2 emissions? As Japan helpfully explained, they consider building coal plants in poor countries to be “climate finance”, when the coal plants in question are high efficiency supercritical coal generators.
The argument appears to be, the coal plants will be built anyway – so when Japan finances the construction of high efficiency supercritical coal generators, rather than the smoky low efficiency units which would have been constructed without their financial help, they should be allowed to count the difference in emissions between the high efficiency units which are built, and low efficiency units which could have been built (up to a 50% reduction per plant according to the IGCC) as a contribution to reducing CO2 emissions – even though as the new plants come online, it seems likely that overall global CO2 emissions will actually surge.
The net outcome of this charade, in my opinion, is Western politicians are committing to skyrocketing energy prices and unworkable renewables schemes, inanely celebrating that everyone is onboard with their lunacy, while at the same time, China and Japan are busy helping their Asian neighbours make coal power even cheaper.