Surprise! Chinese Coal Output has Risen to 2015 Levels, Undermining Climate Pledges

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Viv Forbes; Who could have imagined the possibility Chinese President Xi Jinping’s climate rhetoric does not exactly accord with what is happening on the ground?

China’s 2020 coal output rises to highest since 2015, undermining climate pledges

CONTRIBUTORS
Muyu Xu  Reuters
Shivani Singh  Reuters
PUBLISHED JAN 17, 2021 11:22PM EST

BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) – China’s coal output rose last year to its highest since 2015, despite Beijing’s climate change pledge to reduce consumption of the dirty fossil fuel and months of disruption at major coal mining hubs.

The world’s biggest coal miner and consumer produced 3.84 billion tonnes of coal in 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.

China’s coal output dropped after reaching a peak of 3.97 billion tonnes in 2013, as Beijing axed excessive mining capacity and promoted clean energy consumption. But production is rising amid surging industrial demand and an unofficial restriction on coal imports aimed at shoring up the domestic mining industry. 

Read more: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/chinas-2020-coal-output-rises-to-highest-since-2015-undermining-climate-pledges-2021-01-17

No doubt this is a temporary aberration, right? I’m sure once global warming clears the ice hanging off China’s wind turbines, they’ll be able to cut back on their coal use.

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ResourceGuy
January 18, 2021 6:31 pm

In the climate crusades, this means Australia can claim green brownie points for decreased production and exports during the Chinese diplomatic spat. And so it goes in the global claptrap era.

Mr.
January 18, 2021 6:43 pm

The CCP has been playing the West off a break for decades now.

Too easy.

The problem for us in the West is that we’re being governed by a cabal of Neville Chamberlains, and we just don’t want face up to reality.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Mr.
January 18, 2021 8:44 pm

Chamberlains?
You give them far too much credit I think.

Walter Horsting
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 19, 2021 6:19 am

No, we give our own politicians too much credit for being smart.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 19, 2021 7:10 am

Neville ordered rearmament in secret and declared war. Head and shoulders above our present ‘leaders’.

JimG1
January 18, 2021 6:45 pm

He will probably get an angry call from our new clean energy prez, Plugs Biden, oh, wait, never mind.

John Endicott
Reply to  JimG1
January 19, 2021 2:10 am

Oh he’ll probably get that call, he just won’t be able to understand a word of the rambling, incoherent words that Plugs will be speaking, and Plugs will forget the call ever happened seconds after he hangs up.

beng135
Reply to  JimG1
January 19, 2021 7:06 am

Worse than that, he risks getting canceled by Plugs’ & Commie’s operatives.

MarkW
Reply to  beng135
January 19, 2021 7:50 am

The left is now demanding that everyone who supported Trump be deprogrammed.
The re-education camps are right around the corner.

gbaikie
January 18, 2021 6:47 pm

It seems more likely that China coal output dropped, and they lied, and said it went
up.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 18, 2021 10:39 pm

but China is enduring a record busting cold winter.

A winter’s night in China:
18Jan21 1800GMT (2am local)
But record breaking?
18Jan20 1800GMT (2am local)
18Jan19 1800GMT (2am local)
18Jan18 1800GMT (2am local)
etc
In the North East yes, but in Hunan?
China is a big place.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 19, 2021 1:47 am

Eric,
I prefer data over opinion.

Derg
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 19, 2021 2:54 am

I agree Philip but do you trust anything from China?

I have no idea if readings were from satellites, but the CCP is all about propaganda and survival.

very old white guy
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 19, 2021 3:16 am

I prefer truth over data.

Richard Page
Reply to  very old white guy
January 19, 2021 5:25 am

Can I vote for truthful data?

John Endicott
Reply to  Richard Page
January 19, 2021 7:43 am

Yes, but then you’ll have to be sent to the re-education camps

BCBill
Reply to  Richard Page
January 19, 2021 5:34 pm

Does truthful data include model outputs which we are now led to believe are data. Since they are not measurements of anything physically real, is it possible for them to be untruthful?

beng135
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 19, 2021 7:10 am

Alot of snowcover in Manchuria, Korea and Japan.

comment image

Richard Page
Reply to  gbaikie
January 19, 2021 5:23 am

Why? It’s in China’s interests to say that their coal consumption is lower than it actually is, not higher. In fact, I’d bet good money that these released figures will understate the case – on the low side of estimated use rather than an accurate figure. Can anyone tell me what advantage China gains by overstating coal use?

John Endicott
Reply to  Richard Page
January 19, 2021 7:25 am

I agree Richard. However, to play devil’s advocate, the only advantage I can think of is future propaganda – beef up the numbers now so that when they underreport them in the future, they can claim to be cutting their emissions and the green saps will buy it hook line and sinker.

gbaikie
Reply to  Richard Page
January 19, 2021 9:21 am

It would be in China’s interest to say they produced less air pollution.
But a success story of China is their coal production and their high tech coal power plants {they have some of best in the world, apparently}. Though they still have fair number less efficient coal power plants, and they using a lot of low grade coal.
China has to eventually, use less coal, simply because in couple decades they won’t have enough- and it’s not possible to import enough coal- their economy depends on domestic coal production until such time as they ramp out nuclear power and increase their natural gas production. And China is currently making a lot of new coal power plants to replace the less efficient plants.
There lots of reasons for China to lie, as there lots reasons why Reuters would lie, even if China wasn’t lying.
How about if China making more coal, the price of China imported Coal could lower
as result of telling lies? That is very simple reason to do it.
And certainly the Chinese public wants more coal production. And it’s known the Chinese government has been lying about it for years- and about lot’s other things.

MarkW
Reply to  gbaikie
January 19, 2021 7:51 am

What benefit does China get from lying about an increase in coal mining?

commieBob
January 18, 2021 7:27 pm

… Beijing axed excessive mining capacity and promoted clean energy consumption.

China built its industrial capacity without worrying too much about pollution. link

I’m guessing that “clean energy” doesn’t mean windmills and solar panels, just much less polluting generators.

Last edited 1 month ago by commieBob
January 18, 2021 7:30 pm

If you realize that the CCP is a criminal organization and not a government, then understanding it all pretty much falls in place. I have seen a recent story and pictures of a Chinese city where the “authorities” just went into people’s homes and ripped out wood and coal burning heaters ….what a place.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  T. C. Clark
January 18, 2021 8:13 pm

I’d like to see a link to that story. After living in China for 14 years, I would like a back story. Many chinese have their farms bought (yes! bought for money) and move to apartments (probably buy two). They are generally as dumb as dogshit and try to save money on heating, not realising that a concrete building doesn’t have free airflow inside it. So, many would die from carbon monoxide poisoning when they burn wood and coal inside. A responsible government would probably confiscate that stuff because they are not interested in people dying. There are other issues in China that cause concern, so focus on them instead of being caught up in hate.
Of course, if you are looking for these stories and ‘media’ interpretations then go for it.

PCman999
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 18, 2021 10:38 pm

“They are generally as dumb as dogshit ” says the guy warning to not get “caught up in hate”.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  PCman999
January 18, 2021 11:01 pm

I can accept that people can be as dumb as dogshit without hating them. It’s called being objective.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 3:44 am

That’s what cotton plantation masters said about their slaves.

sycomputing
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 8:56 am

>It’s called being objective.

Here’s what’s called debunking your non-hating, “dumb as dogshit” claim to objectivity:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2019/01/23/its-cold-in-china-and-environmental-central-planning-has-turned-off-the-heat/?sh=40cb169c6929

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 1:28 am

Describing someone as dumb as dogshit because their education ended when they were 9 years old is more a reflection on you rather than them.
You don’t know what you don’t know.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 19, 2021 1:53 am

I have far more Chinese friends and aquaintances than caucasian ones.

commieBob
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 7:03 am

Interesting.

The Chinese don’t suffer from political correctness the same way we do. Alexy is correct from a Chinese cultural context. Trying to impose your western values on him smacks of imperialism.

John Endicott
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 7:28 am

Um, you do know that’s pretty much the classic racist defense: “I’m not racist. I have <insert race here> friends,

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  John Endicott
January 19, 2021 4:16 pm

Calling someone dumb is not racist.

John Endicott
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 20, 2021 1:59 am

Calling an individual dumb might not be, but call an entire class of people of a particular race dumb, is.

MarkW
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 7:54 am

Some of my best friends are black.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  MarkW
January 19, 2021 4:17 pm

Good for you.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 6:09 am

Go to Youtube…..ADVChina……and China in Focus ….NTD Network Remember Tienanmen Square Massacre? Concentration camps for the Chinese Muslims? Hong Kong Crackdown? Why are you not living in China now? Go back.

commieBob
Reply to  Anti-griff
January 19, 2021 8:55 am

Alexy made a blunt and probably accurate observation. Political correctness shouldn’t prevent him from telling the truth. That’s just evil.

Do you protest every time the cops break up a homeless camp and send all their stuff to the dump? If the mayor of some tiny Chinese hamlet (less than a million people) says there’s a problem with carbon monoxide poisoning, and the cops confiscate some illegal heating appliances, that’s not political oppression.

Yes, the Chinese have political oppression. So do we … they’re called Democrats and Social Justice Warriors. /rant

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Anti-griff
January 19, 2021 4:18 pm

My visa expired and I don’t have a residency permit.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 6:42 pm

Go to N. Korea and sneak across the border. In fact, anyone who thinks China is no worse than the USA should at least visit for awhile.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Anti_griff
January 19, 2021 8:28 pm

How old are you? 12?

markl
January 18, 2021 7:49 pm

Everyone seems quick to trash talk China just because everything they say is either a lie or intended to change reality. Soon you may not be able to find the truth …. then what will you do?

Reply to  markl
January 18, 2021 8:01 pm

I just heard a report that a group of Canadian soldiers were in China in October 2019 and many became ill….flu like illness….and Trudeau ordered no pursuit of tests to find out what the illness was…he didn’t want to upset Xi Jinping. Xi doesn’t want any investigation of the origins of the virus….Joey Biden doesn’t want any investigation of voter fraud.

Derg
Reply to  markl
January 19, 2021 2:58 am

That seems to be the world we live in. Russia colluuuusion anyone?

Richard Page
Reply to  Derg
January 19, 2021 5:31 am

Right now? I think I’d trust Xi Jinping less than Putin and Joe Biden less than Xi. And just to put things into perspective, I really don’t trust Putin further than I could throw him. I don’t see myself as paranoid or cynical, just a realist!

John Endicott
Reply to  Richard Page
January 19, 2021 7:39 am

Hmmm, who is more trust worthy Xi, Putin, or Plugs? That’s something of a Sophie’s choice there. Can I choose none of the above?

Richard Page
Reply to  John Endicott
January 19, 2021 8:15 am

You certainly can – I would welcome the company in the re-education camp!

gbaikie
Reply to  Derg
January 19, 2021 9:49 am

Apparently, Trump stopped the Russian collusion in both 2018 and 2020 elections and obviously, Obama/Biden failed in 2016.

SMC
January 18, 2021 7:50 pm

Are you calling president elect Xi a liar for not living up to his CAGW commitments? How dare you!😄

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  SMC
January 18, 2021 8:38 pm

You are wrong. He is president for life.

John Endicott
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 7:40 am

*Whoosh*

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  John Endicott
January 19, 2021 2:22 pm

Woosh, back at you.

commieBob
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 9:13 am

There’s nothing I don’t understand much less than Chinese politics but … even Mao got booted.

LdB
Reply to  commieBob
January 20, 2021 6:15 am

Booted no … he died 🙂

Perhaps lets give you the really short version to learn

Mao was the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1935 until his death, and he was chairman (chief of state) of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1959 and chairman of the party also until his death.

commieBob
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 19, 2021 9:30 am

I suspect Xi himself doesn’t know what is really happening half the time.

That’s a problem for leaders everywhere. If I had to pick three who understood the problem most clearly: Zhou Enlai, Andre Gromyko, Donald Trump

Richard (the cynical one)
January 18, 2021 7:51 pm

Raise your hand, anyone there who believed China’s commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Anyone? Hello?

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
January 18, 2021 8:04 pm

History has a nasty habit of repeating. Check out the treaties and agreements made by the USSR and the USA. How many did the USSR honor?

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
January 18, 2021 8:36 pm

How many did the USA honour?

Lancifer
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 18, 2021 9:44 pm

That’s two knee jerk reaction posts defending communist governments, but who’s counting.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Lancifer
January 18, 2021 9:51 pm

Who’s defending communist governments? Reacting to fake news based on information is not a knee jerk reaction. Tell me where I’m wrong.

MarkW
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 7:57 am

Assuming that western governments must be as bad as communist governments, is defending communist governments.
Especially when you lack any data to support your belief.

MarkW
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 19, 2021 7:56 am

Do you have any evidence that the USA didn’t honor any of them?

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  MarkW
January 19, 2021 5:38 pm

I asked a question. I didn’t make a statement.

Richard Page
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
January 19, 2021 7:51 am

How many? It’s difficult to tell given that most treaties were never ratified by the Soviets or the US Senate and the few that were had so many subclauses and interpretations that it would take an international court to judge who broke what. I know roughly how many the USA have said the USSR broke and I know roughly how many Russia/USSR said the USA broke but I strongly doubt anyone really knows for sure.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 8:17 pm

I don’t know for sure either. It was 25 or 30 years ago that one author claimed that the USSR broke every one. Who knows.

Serge Wright
January 18, 2021 8:59 pm

We live in a world where all people who are members of the Marxist / climate religion live in the rigid belief that China is a good Marxist climate citizen, regardless of their emissions increases and total domination of global emissions.

Of course China has never had any intentions to reduce emissions, but they do intend to maintain the appropriate propaganda in order to continue receiving good will from their Marxist comrades in the west, now including the white house, whilst making many billions of dollars by selling useless RE infrastructure that will ultimately cause a collapse of the western economies.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Serge Wright
January 18, 2021 9:42 pm

Exactly so. Xi and those leaders who preceded him have been playing the West for fools, especially the US. Like idiots the West believed China was going to be a new market for Western exploitation. Instead, China has been using the US and others as their flea-market of tech goodies (for free). Direct intellectual pillage combined with industrial espionage has been China’s most robust import. Xi is merely capitalizing on the stupidity of the AGW true believers who in turn believe the corrupt science. China has been the ONLY beneficiary of the entire AGW fraud.

Rory Forbes
January 18, 2021 9:33 pm

Xi is doing exactly what any good leader should be doing … looking out for the interests of his own country first. If more Western governments (especially the US) had followed that model, like Donald Trump has been doing, the world would be a better place and China wouldn’t be nearly as well off and dangerously powerful. Self serving globalists and tin-pot Marxists have been collecting their cut of the vast wealth being pissed away into China’s coffers for years. Trump interrupted the hemorrhaging of money to China … but Biden’s handlers will reverse that very soon.

Mr. Lee
Reply to  Rory Forbes
January 18, 2021 10:57 pm

But the West must suffer, because racism and stuff.

MarkW
Reply to  Mr. Lee
January 19, 2021 7:58 am

Racism in the west was never as bad as racism still is in most Asian countries.

Mr. Lee
January 18, 2021 11:01 pm

What?! Disingenuous leftists? Never!

John McCabe
January 19, 2021 12:06 am

They probably needed more coal to burn all the coronavirus victims they haven’t admitted to. 4635 deaths, including 3 since April; really?!

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  John McCabe
January 19, 2021 8:39 am

Not to carry water for the Chinese, but maybe they understand that if Grandpa Li is 86 years old, smokes like a chimney, has emphysema, and a heart condition, just because he tested positive for the virus doesn’t mean that’s what killed him.

Climate believer
January 19, 2021 12:29 am

China’s 2020 coal output rises to highest since 2015, undermining climate pledges”

Not to mention their increased crude oil imports +7.3%, and Nat Gas +5.3%. So green.

https://www.reuters.com/article/china-economy-trade-crude/update-1-chinas-2020-crude-oil-imports-hit-record-on-stockpiling-new-refineries-idUSL1N2JP07X

Derg
Reply to  Climate believer
January 19, 2021 3:04 am

With prices so low why would they not stockpile? The West gives them raw materials and China gives them cheap goods back. They keep the difference.

griff
January 19, 2021 12:32 am

and an unofficial restriction on coal imports ‘ so in other words they just shifted where they get it from away from Australia?

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
January 19, 2021 8:24 am

Yes – they cut imports from Australia and increased domestic production to match the previous level of imports – protectionism for internal markets. That isn’t the point. The point is that under the agreement between Obama and China they were limited to a certain overly generous increase in coal use which they have exceeded. It perhaps shows China is acting in bad faith towards its international agreements.

John Endicott
Reply to  griff
January 19, 2021 9:48 am

Interesting that you snipped the first half of that sentence there giffy.

But production is rising amid surging industrial demand

Now why would that be? Couldn’t be that an increase in demand doesn’t fit your paymaster’s narrative, could it?

LdB
Reply to  griff
January 20, 2021 6:22 am

The crack up is the Australian Coal is being sold to Japan and India and the high quality vs low quality China is replacing it with is undermining China Steel makers pricing on world market. China Kicked an own goal and the world cheers.

Louis Hunt
January 19, 2021 1:26 am

It’s only 2021. I thought the climate accords allowed China to increase their fossil fuel use until 2030, at which time they would “consider” not doing any further increases beyond that point. At least that’s how I remember it. Did China make more stringent promises since then?

Richard Page
Reply to  Louis Hunt
January 19, 2021 11:41 am

They made pledges under the Paris agreement – setting targets for 2020 as well as 2030. They pledged to limit CO2 to 40-45% below 2005 levels and have 15% of their energy from non fossil fuel sources by 2020. Have they met them?

fred250
Reply to  Richard Page
January 19, 2021 7:54 pm

“15% of their energy from non fossil fuel sources by 2020”

IIRC, at the time of the agreement, they had about 18% hydro. 😉

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  fred250
January 20, 2021 6:45 am

Nothing like promising to do what you have already done – makes it easy to meet such “commitments.” 😀

LdB
Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 6:30 am

It failed like all but 2 small countries Morocco and The Gambia.

The current revised ratings as at Nov 2020 when COP was supposed to be on
https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/

China has dropped to highly insufficient below even Australia.

January 19, 2021 1:40 am

“Green”, the ultimate con of the oligarchs.

Greg
January 19, 2021 2:28 am

Undermining Climate Pledges

In what way is this increase in coal “undermining” China’s pledge to INCREASE CO2 emissions until 2030 by which time it will “try” to reduce them.

China’s coal output dropped after reaching a peak of 3.97 billion tonnes in 2013,

Please read what is written. This refers to China’s coal production not consumption. I would guess part of this is using more domestic production since they have slashed imports from Australia.

Alan
Reply to  Greg
January 19, 2021 6:20 am

Yeah but Greg they actually import relatively bugger all from Australia

fred250
Reply to  Alan
January 19, 2021 7:55 pm

About 3% of consumption.

John Endicott
Reply to  Greg
January 19, 2021 9:44 am

Please read what was written yourself, Greg.

But production is rising amid surging industrial demand

If they’re producing more coal it’s because they had more demand for that coal. They’re not producing more coal just for funzies!

very old white guy
January 19, 2021 3:15 am

Understanding that fossil fuels like coal are not going to end life as we know it seems to be relegated to communist dictators.

ResourceGuy
January 19, 2021 7:35 am

Update: more coal going to India, Pakistan, and South America

Coal producer Yancoal Australia sees demand rebounding (yahoo.com)

MarkW
January 19, 2021 7:48 am

Our trolls will tell us that this increase doesn’t matter because China has allegedly, verbally committed to shutting down coal plants.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
January 20, 2021 6:47 am

As they build more…

Gordon A. Dressler
January 19, 2021 7:51 am

Communist China not honoring a pledge? Why am I not surprised in the least?

But at least the article was good for a laugh.

John Endicott
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
January 19, 2021 9:45 am

That’s because it’s what’s known as “business as usual”

Steve Oregon
January 19, 2021 9:38 am

LNG could replace much more coal. But dog gone it, that would mean using a fossil fuel to reduce CO2 emissions. Can’t have that.
Instead the world is a festering sore of dysfunction.
AKA Progressive.

ResourceGuy
January 19, 2021 10:24 am

With much colder weather or even much colder climate the CCP would respond with more coal. I’m so sure that would be allowed in the U.S. or Europe. They would go the crisis route instead.

Richard Page
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 19, 2021 11:23 am

I have no problem with them increasing coal production and use but if this was happening in any other country there would have been a huge alarmist outcry and calls for them to be shunned, etc! So far the media silence has been deafening.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 8:50 am

And only the WSJ writes about the gulags in western China after being expelled from the country.

ResourceGuy
January 19, 2021 10:25 am

Be sure and get your vaccine from China. It works half the time too.

ResourceGuy
January 19, 2021 12:56 pm

China burns coal to make stuff for the world and since the West cannot compete they use coal and renewable power to mine bitcoin.

Kemaris
January 19, 2021 4:25 pm

Whaddaya talking about? Chiang’s Paris commitment was to grow its economy as much as possible until about 2030 when it thought it would be rich enough to start buying a cleaner environment, so what’s the problem?

*sarc*

WXcycles
January 20, 2021 12:01 am

You’d think that blowing up the coral reefs of the South China Sea and burying them under sediment would be a bit of a give-away they all’s not what it seems with Beijing’s commitment to environmental policy. *Shock!* … Wow! They did the opposite of what they said they would! But now that they know for sure it was all a con, do the greens condemn China for it? Well of course not! The greens are pure hypocrites with no principles they would not shamelessly abandon with fluid alacrity.

SteveScAZ
January 20, 2021 3:38 pm

Surprising only people on the left……

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