The Guardian: “China has started to ‘walk the walk’ on climate crisis”

Ma-Jun
Ma Jun, Director, Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, People’s Republic of China at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 2012. By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland – Cropped from File:Ma Jun – Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2012.jpg, original source Asia’s Digital Age, CC BY-SA 2.0, link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

No criticism for China? The Guardian is praising China for cleaning up pollution, and attacking the USA over President Trump leaving the Paris Agreement. But as is often the case with China, the rosy picture painted by The Guardian and their Chinese government approved “activist” source Ma Jun does not appear to match the reality of what is actually happening.

Ma Jun: China has started to ‘walk the walk’ on climate crisis

US dropped the environmental ball under Trump, but Biden victory means the two countries can work together for a green recovery, says campaigner.

Patrick Greenfield
Fri 13 Nov 2020 16.00 AEDT

Ma Jun experienced a strange role reversal during Donald Trump’s presidency. Over more than two decades as one of China’s top environmental campaigners, American encouragement for Beijing to cut carbon emissions and temper the damage of rapid industrialisation had been part of the background music. Ma never imagined he would see the US renege on environmental commitments while China began to face up to the challenge.

“It’s been frustrating,” says Ma of the past four years as we speak on the phone, the bustle of Beijing audible in the background. “When it comes to environmental collaboration between the governments, it has been hard to do anything.”

“China has started changing its course. We have seen a lot more ‘walk the walk’ action. China has adopted some tough measures to try to deal with the pollution and environmental damage problem. And we have seen some progress made because of that,” Ma says.

Undoubtedly, many challenges remain. Environmental concerns surround the multibillion-dollar belt and road initiative – likely to guarantee China’s role at the heart of international trade for the next century. Parts of the illegal wildlife trade centre on China, driving species extinction across the planet. The current pandemic has only heightened the scrutiny.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/13/ma-jun-china-is-beginning-to-walk-the-walk-on-climate-crisis-action-aoe

Apart from a minor slap for the Belt and Road initiative, the Guardian seems happy to equate pollution cleanup with climate action, at least when it comes to China.

But as is often the case with China, reality appears to be a little different to the spin.

… Whether or not there is high-level political support for the idea, important industry players are making a push for significantly increased limits on coal-fired power capacity.

The industry group for China’s power sector giants, China Electricity Council, has argued that coal-power capacity “will” reach 1,300GW by 2030, up from 1,050GW today. This target is based on its projections for annual electricity demand and the need for capacity to meet peak loads.

A cap of 1,300GW in 2030 would imply the addition of well over 300GW of new coal-fired capacity this decade, after accounting for the retirement of older plants.

China Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute (EPPEI), the authoritative consultancy that has designed most of China’s coal power units and grid infrastructure, warned in June 2019 that 16 provinces in the country should increase new capacity and start working on a new batch of thermal power plants to avoid the possibility of shortages in the next two to three years.

The thinktank affiliated with China’s giant grid utility company, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), stressed the need to maintain coal-power capacity in a July 2019 intervention:

“[China] should not close coal power plants at a large scale too soon or too fast and, by around 2030, we should maintain around 1,200GW of coal power to ensure the reliability of the power system, and key power generating regions should retain some backup and reserve capacity.”

However, the thinktank did not clearly define what “too soon” or “too fast” would mean in practice. …

Read more: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-will-china-build-hundreds-of-new-coal-plants-in-the-2020s

There is no contradiction between China burning more coal yet at the same time cleaning up their air pollution – China have become world leaders in constructing ultra-clean high efficiency coal plants. They have had a lot of recent practice building them.

There is also a lot of talk about how China’s renewable push will displace other forms of power generation, but we’ve all seen how that has worked out in the West – even Green Germany has started building coal plants again, and clearing ancient forests to mine the coal beneath the trees.

If Germany’s legendary engineers cannot make renewables work, if the desperate German quest for grid stability and energy security has driven the Germans to chop down a stand of trees which predates the dawn of civilisation, to dig out the coal beneath the trees, what chance does anyone else have of making renewables work?

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Al Miller
November 14, 2020 6:28 pm

Oh, I see, It couldn’t possibly be that China would love to see a weakling in the oval office who won’t call them out- no that couldn’t be it. It couldn’t possibly be true tht the CCP lies in an attempt to gain more trust from the gullible. Augh, the stupid- it burns!

MarkW
Reply to  Al Miller
November 14, 2020 7:17 pm

China would love to see the west in general and the US in particular commit economic suicide by embracing so called renewable energy.

Combine that with the Biden families long history of trading access for cash, and China is going to love this presidency.

John
Reply to  MarkW
November 14, 2020 9:42 pm

That’s exactly what the Paris Accord is, economic suicide by the West while China continues to build coal plants unabated with the promise to curb after 2030. Obama is a fool and Biden is a demented fool.

Bryan A
Reply to  John
November 15, 2020 6:27 am

China will be “Walking the Walk” if/when they’re actively reducing emissions as the rest of the world THINKS we must do.
Reducing pollution and reducing emissions are 2 separate things, interwoven in places but separate.
As long as their emissions continue to rise and not fall they are living up to their Paris commitment of “doing nothing” but not really “walking the walk”

Luke
Reply to  Al Miller
November 15, 2020 11:31 am

Russia was a diversion. The CCP has infiltrated our government. The truth is, it’s the exact same crowd that McCarthy identified, but the Soviet Union collapsed, communism died there, and their sympathies naturally switched to the CCP. Trump was, and still is, the greatest challenge to these cominternists.

November 14, 2020 6:37 pm

I wrote an article on China’s clean energy “plans” last month.
The title is a good summary of the article:

Chinese “what virus” Communists
“aim” for carbon neutrality by 2060,
and if you believe them,
I have a bridge in Brooklyn
to sell you (I own 25%)

https://elonionbloggle.blogspot.com/2020/10/chinese-what-virus-communists-aim-for.html

Mr.
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 14, 2020 7:51 pm

Yes, how gullible are Guardian reporters?
(or do they really know what’s going on, but it suits their ideology to pretend to believe the CCP?)

fred250
Reply to  Mr.
November 16, 2020 12:11 pm

They still haven’t figured out that what China does is “Talk the talk”

Climate Journalists are not the sharpest pebble of leftist journalism. !

Serge Wright
November 14, 2020 6:53 pm

China has no intention of using RE in any significant capacity to power its own grid, which is why they negotiated with the UN & Obama, back in 2014, to get a free pass to increase emissions until 2030. The next ten years will see China expand their thermal capacity to manage their total grid requirements beyond 2050. Any words we see coming from China or the Guardian are simply propaganda, aimed at deflecting attention away from the biggest emitter as it ramps up its thermal energy capacity and emissions.

The real game here is obvious. Put pressure on western countries to adopt a form of energy that will cause their economies and societies to collapse, to facilitate a forced transition to communism. The best part about this strategy for China is that it gets to make a fortune by selling the RE products to western countries, that will bring about our their demise, whilst it continues to ramp up its own emissions in the process.

Looking back at the deal made in 2014 by Obama, with Biden as VP, one cannot help but notice the hypocrisy of Biden’s plan to shut down his own economy to apparently save the planet. In a past era such actions would be seen as treason, but today our MSM cheer on any actions that help China and destroy western countries.

Posa
Reply to  Serge Wright
November 14, 2020 9:08 pm

China’s recently unveiled Five Year Plan is built on the theme of security and self-reliance. Developing both coal plants and EVs are broadly specified as a goal in the Five Year Plan to achieve these ends. Such a combination greatly alleviates China’s imports of hydrocarbons from thousands of miles away in the Middle East. Such imports are a major strategic vulnerability but necessary for ICE vehicles in China. Since China has immense coal (and uranium) reserves, but little oil, it totally makes sense to power an expanded EV fleet to replace ICE vehicles, with electricity for these vehicles generated by ultra-clean and efficient coal plants.

Meanwhile, China will happily regurgitate “climate change” propaganda as a way to encourage bird-brain rivals in the West to defeat themselves and commit economic suicide. Why should Beijing give the suckers a break? I’d do the same.

John F Hultquist
November 14, 2020 7:09 pm

China wants the Harris/Biden administration contributing to the UN Green Slush Fund.
The U. S. could claim to be using Unicorn Farts (sorry about using a technical term) and China won’t care.
Of course most other countries are interested in the money, also.

LdB
November 14, 2020 7:09 pm

Yes sure we can trust China what could possibly go wrong 🙂

November 14, 2020 7:10 pm

Reliable, competitive, environmentally friendly ‘Renewable” energy sources are as frequently found as are unicorns. China has had a lot of experience with unicorns and dragons and prefers Coal.

Chris Hanley
November 14, 2020 7:18 pm

Patrick Greenfield probably thinks the Haoji railway was built as a 1,800 km bike path.
https://www.seetao.com/details/6504/en.html

philincalifornia
November 14, 2020 7:34 pm

The Guardian is a great source to figure out the truth, but that’s not from believing it.

Reply to  philincalifornia
November 15, 2020 11:58 am

philin
Great, astute, comment.
Agreed.
Thanks.

Auto

markl
November 14, 2020 7:49 pm

China will do nothing that impedes their Marxist principles. AGW is nothing more than another means to an end for them.

November 14, 2020 7:57 pm

A GW is 1,000 MW. This means China is building 250 new large 1,000MW coal power stations in the next few years. Yes they are using high-temp metallurgy for high thermal efficiency, and yes these plants will have bag houses to filter the fly ash.

That is an awful lot of new CO2 emissions.

Funny how the Guardian did not mention that.

Duker
Reply to  Michael Moon
November 14, 2020 8:44 pm

Guardian is a strange newspaper, it has miniscule readership in UK but its articles are syndicated around the world. Most of their columnists are unreadable but seem to be syndicated for their strange claims.
Its an opinion syndication service with a small hardly read newspaper on the side. This article will be pumped by China all over the world as a great relevation. When in fact is a business as usual for China, with useful idiots putting out United Front agitprop.

gbaikie
Reply to  Duker
November 14, 2020 9:53 pm

Are they useful idiots or bought and paid for hacks.

“Guardian is a strange newspaper, it has miniscule readership in UK”

They simply need money from a government, and any government can pay them.

George Daddis
Reply to  Duker
November 15, 2020 8:14 am

Not too different from CNN. If it weren’t for the paid screens in Airports they’d have very few viewers.

Reply to  George Daddis
November 15, 2020 12:06 pm

George,
Ah – Chinese O2 is very different to
Capitalist O2
Radiation can tell the difference; the former is absolutely not a GHG.
The latter, of course, is BAD Carbon, and must be stopped, even if our few survivors must live in caves . . .

Auto

Loren C Wilson
Reply to  Michael Moon
November 15, 2020 9:54 am

CO2 is apparently only a pollutant to the Guardian if a non-communist country emits it.

Taphonomic
November 15, 2020 1:31 am

China surpassed the USA in CO2 emissions around 2005 and never looked back. The USA has been decreasing emissions since then, China constantly increasing. The Paris Accords allow China to continue increasing. Why is no one pointing fingers at China? Where is Greta?

comment image

Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2020 5:20 am

“Climate Crunch™” could be the name of a type of cereal, possibly green-colored (but marketing would need to work on that), with a portion of the proceeds going towards any number of greenie scamsprojects , including, but not limited to, bird choppers and bat fryers, and solar-powered light bulbs for poor countries. All ingredients, of course, would be “sustainably” sourced, harvested, and processed. True, it would cost significantly more than regular cereal, but the trade-off is the virtue signaling as well as relief from Climate Guilt you get to enjoy. It would be awesome.

ColMosby
November 15, 2020 5:31 am

China is also on a nuclear build program involving hundreds of new 1GW conventional plants and is developing molten salt SMRs, which are clearly the future of power generation for those not as ignorant as the Guardian. China’s attack on air pollution is an attack on AIR POLLUTION, not CO2
China has mostly banned wind power as disruptive to the grid

AngryScotonFraggleRock
Reply to  ColMosby
November 16, 2020 12:57 am

I used to fly over China up to 6 times a month en route to and from HK. As an ex-recce pilot, I took great interest in what was going on at the surface – from ghost-city building through airport construction and operation, both military and civilian, to power station construction. I noticed that the latter was a bit different from the West: they seem to have built in capacity to change, seamlessly, to (probably) nuclear generation. So, when the West (Norway and France) come up with a viable Thorium MSR reactor, the CCP simply has to retrofit them to their network.

Wade
November 15, 2020 6:16 am

Why should the Guardian criticize China? They are already communist, the government the Guardian management wants for the world.

beng135
November 15, 2020 6:35 am

Oh right — give China any break/excuse they need. How much under-the-table Chinese money is being delivered to the Guardian coffers?

Rainer Bensch
November 15, 2020 7:12 am

You haven’t to point to German engineers to show let alone ‘prove’ that renewables don’t work. It’s sufficient just to think.

Gordon A. Dressler
November 15, 2020 8:04 am

From the above article’s first set of boxed excerpts from The Guardian article spun out by Patrick Greenfield: “China has adopted some tough measures to try to deal with the pollution and environmental damage problem.”

Yeah, yeah, I know, like dealing OUT (not WITH!) this environmental damage problem:

“In 2014 China began massive dredging operations to build artificial islands around seven reefs that they claimed as their territory. The artificial islands have been transformed into significant military facilities including three runways that have been used for the deployment of Chinese fighter jets. . . . Despite a 2016 ruling by an international body that China was violating the Law of the Sea Convention with some of its maritime claims, China has continued building up its infrastructure in the South China Sea.” —source: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-navy-sails-past-disputed-artificial-islands-claimed/story?id=60993256#:~:text=In%202014%20China%20began%20massive,deployment%20of%20Chinese%20fighter%20jets.

China “walking the walk” on climate crises? I think not . . . unless, perhaps, reducing the world’s population via the ChiCom COVID-19 virus can be seen as an effect strategy to deal with the “environmental damage problem”.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 15, 2020 9:22 am

Sorry . . . last sentence to be corrected to ” . . . seen as an effective strategy to . . .”

George Daddis
November 15, 2020 8:25 am

Now more than ever it is important to push back on the Progressives’ tactic of changing language or the meaning of words. (“Illegal aliens” become “immigrants”, mail in votes = mass distribution of unsolicited ballots, and CO2 emissions are conflated with dirty rivers and air (particulate matter and SOx).

Not responding will result in the general populace, not to mention the ignorant press, accepting the new definitions (e.g. if you support existing immigration law you are a racist).

Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2020 9:50 am

They’re not so much “walking the walk” as dancing the Climate Two-Step. I think they’ve got it down pretty well pat by now.

November 15, 2020 12:31 pm

Lies, damned lies and the Guardian.

tomo
November 15, 2020 12:43 pm

The Guardian …

icymi they are the media equivalent of a spoiled trust fund brat – self indulgence and delusion that will last exactly as long as it takes to burn through the coffers of The Scott Trust – which , annoyingly is about another 20 years of mendacious and whacko output…

William Haas
November 15, 2020 1:33 pm

But there is no climate crisis.

Climate believer
November 15, 2020 1:58 pm

The Guardian……probably the most hated thing in the UK, after James Corden.

Mickey Reno
November 15, 2020 2:31 pm

What Chinese cities suffering from smog and actual carbon compound pollution (not CO2) need are cheap natural gas powered home furnaces, instead of small, coal stoves in private homes for heating. Or failing that, a bunch of new huge public networks of steam pipes distributing steam heat to many homes from a central heating plant, increasing the number of homes served per btu of coal burned.

Anyone who thinks China will ever follow Wokestapo climate change bullshit needs their fool head examined. I’m looking at you Graun.

GradyC
November 16, 2020 7:05 am

I laughed just reading “walk the talk” and China in the same title. I didn’t have to read the article to know it was propaganda. Sadly, the masses don’t know the difference between smog and CO2.

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