Climate Champion China Resumes Aussie Imports, Burning Record Amounts of Coal

Essay by Eric Worrall

Nothing says green hero like burning coal at a faster rate than any country has ever burned coal in the history of mankind – and still pedal to the metal to further boost coal mining.

China boosts coal output, eases Australia ban to bolster energy security

By Muyu Xu
January 9, 20235:00 PM GMT+10

SINGAPORE, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The increasing need to secure energy supplies after easing COVID-19 restrictions has pushed China to gradually resume Australian coal imports and urge domestic miners to boost their already record output.

The lifting of the unofficial ban on Australian coal imports, which were halted in 2020 in a fit of Chinese pique over questions on COVID’s origins, is the clearest sign yet of the renewed ties between them.

The resumption is also a reminder of their economic interdependence as Australia’s raw materials play a crucial role in fuelling the export-oriented economy of China, the world’s biggest coal consumer and producer.

Rising prices amid the Russian sanctions and an expected jump in Chinese coal demand – as much 2% more in 2023 than last year, according to Wood Mackenzie analysts – after the end of its COVID restrictions has renewed the energy security concerns.

Read more:

Greens frequently claim China is a climate champion, though they worry China might not be ambitious enough.

Is China doing enough to combat the climate crisis?

While it appears committed to renewable energy goals, China’s international commitments fall short of what experts say is needed

Helen Davidson @heldavidson Fri 11 Nov 2022 18.55 AEDT

After decades of fossil fuel-driven economic growth and industrialisation, China is now the world’s biggest carbon emitter, contributing almost a third of the world’s greenhouse gases in 2020.

It is also the most exposed to the impact of the climate crisis, in terms of its population size and number of environmental disasters, according to UN figures. Average temperatures and sea levels have risen faster than global averages, and in just one year since Cop26, China has experienced record-breaking floods and heatwaves, bringing with them severe energy crises.

China’s government has signed up to global climate pledges and is a big driver of renewable energy, but like with many countries, experts have raised concerns over the scale of the cuts.

“It is complicated,” said the Trivium analyst Cory Combs. “The general summary is: they are genuinely ambitious but also probably not enough.”

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Greens seem to have a soft spot for dictators.

If Chiang Kai-shek had won the war with Chairman Mao, if all China was democratic and free like Taiwan, in my opinion there is no way greens would give them any kind of pass for burning so much coal.

But since China are totalitarian communists, that seems to earn them extra consideration when it comes to relations with the green movement.

Many greens are hostile towards representative democracy, and sometimes fantasise that totalitarian thugocracies like China have the most potential to achieve the climate societal reforms they crave – even if their wannabe green champion China currently appears to be headed in the wrong direction, for now.

To be fair, the Chinese Communists genuinely attempted to cut CO2 emissions in 2021 by imposing coal quotas, but were forced to back down when everyone burned through their quotas, and their economy ran out of energy.

Despite this failure, greens appear determined to cling to the idea dictators have complete freedom to force changes on society. But even dictators have to respond to popular unrest when the problems get bad enough, as demonstrated by the green backdown in 2021, and the recent Chinese Communist Party surrender to Covid lockdown protestors.

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Tom Halla
January 11, 2023 6:23 pm

The PRC does not seem to be actively suicidal , unlike the US Democratic Party or the UK or Australian Labour parties.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 11, 2023 8:50 pm

As to PRC [ie the CCP] you are correct.
I’m 3/4 the way through Kevin Rudd’s book on China & Xi Jinping. It’s a good
read [even if Rudd has swallowed the climate koolaid]. “The Avoidable War”
Rudd admits Xi’s climate policies are more political or geostrategic moves
than as a true believer.
And don’t believe any statistics from the CCP without some way to verify it.
Xi is acting very Machiavellian.

Frank from NoVA
January 11, 2023 6:25 pm

Per the Guardian:

‘Average temperatures and sea levels have risen faster than global averages, and in just one year since Cop26, China has experienced record-breaking floods and heatwaves, bringing with them severe energy crises.‘

How does Chinese sea level rise faster than global sea level? Are they the Lake Woebegone of climate?

Bryan A
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 11, 2023 7:57 pm

Everywhere the sea levels are rising at twice the levels of everywhere else.
Everywhere the temperatures are rising at twice the rate of everywhere else.

Reply to  Bryan A
January 11, 2023 8:14 pm

and by 0.317 mm per 31-daymonth,
and by 0.0478 C per 744 hours.

Reply to  Bryan A
January 12, 2023 5:34 am

By my calculations Earth will cease to exist in 39.75 years
+/- 39.75 years. Which is worse than I expected last year.
I did not make up these numbers — they are from my computer model — so complex i have no idea how it works.

In 1997, an earlier version of my model predicted the climate would get warmer, unless it got colder. And that prediction was correct.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 12, 2023 2:29 am

The Guardian is an English rag aimed at people who can not count.

michael hart
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 12, 2023 7:31 am

It is indeed. For many decades it has been the place to go for job applications in social services and government. As someone from the sciences background, the last place you looked in the job adverts was in The Guardian.

But I don’t see most US publications being any better.

January 11, 2023 6:31 pm

While the usual suspects are all singing from the same hymn book in Oz-
Natural gas is killing your kiddies folks!

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  observa
January 11, 2023 7:02 pm

I think kiddies produce enough natural gas on their own.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 11, 2023 8:15 pm

not as much as Grandad though 🙂

Reply to  Mr.
January 11, 2023 8:48 pm


Reply to  Scissor
January 11, 2023 8:52 pm

On whether the kids pull his finger or not?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Scissor
January 11, 2023 8:57 pm


Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
January 12, 2023 5:39 am

I’m opening a new restaurant and gas station / EV charge station combination business where people can eat lunch while my attendants fill their ICE gas tank or charge their EVs.
I am considering naming the business:
“Eat and Get Gas”

Reply to  observa
January 12, 2023 5:35 am

Natural gas burned my pizza
Natural gas burned my finger
Natural gas killed my dog
You won’t hear any good things about natural gas from me.

January 11, 2023 6:32 pm

China tells the world that they are moving towards green energy and renewables.
But they have are increased their use of coal very rapidly since 2009.
World coal use was stable at 4.7 billion tones from 1999 untill 2008 and it has now topped 8 billion tonnes in 2018 and 2021.
China is producing all sorts of goods that many countries cannot because of a lack of reliable and affordable energy in their countries .
The world has to wake up to where their expensive energy policies are leading to .
Imported goods must have emissions that were generated in their manufacture attached some how .
I cannot understand how countries can import manufactured goods of food and not become liable for the emissions generated in the country of origin .
Does any one here know the answer

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Graham
January 11, 2023 7:04 pm

Gotta keep those pens a-pushin’.

Reply to  Graham
January 11, 2023 7:16 pm

The answer is, as usual, very simple: ‘Emissions’ means just what a country chooses it to mean – neither more nor less. With apologies to Lewis Carroll.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Mike Jonas
January 11, 2023 8:57 pm

You would have been better off with the “Princess Bride” version of that quote. We are mainly old here and have encountered that. We aren’t as old as Lewis Carroll.

Reply to  Graham
January 11, 2023 10:04 pm

Does any one here know the answer

Whomever seems to be in charge in a country makes a pronouncement about what counts and what doesn’t count. That is political reality. Actual physical reality can go soak its head.

michael hart
Reply to  AndyHce
January 12, 2023 7:38 am

True, unfortunately.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Graham
January 13, 2023 8:07 pm

Shaming China for manufacturing the energy intensive products that a modern society requires is wrong. We in the West have abandoned that effort and instead follow the liberal/progressive/democrat business model that says mine and manufacture nothing, import everything to save energy and reduce emissions. China gets the jobs, tax base and profits. We get unemployment, loss of manufacturing base, an ever-increasing national debt, and the privilege of waving made in China virtue signaling flags. A business model as unsustainable as trying to run a modern society on sunshine and breezes.

January 11, 2023 7:12 pm

It can all be explained very simply: China is a renewables champion, probably the world’s greatest renewables champion, but until the transition period is over the renewables have to be supported by coal. The fact that China is using more and more coal just shows how strong they are in renewables – the more renewables they commit to, the more coal they need to get them through the transition.

If you believe that, you’ll believe anything. Believe me, some people will believe anything.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
January 12, 2023 10:59 am

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Abe, a REPUBLICAN, was talking about liberals in the first part of that statement.

Democrats have been winning elections based on the fact that the younger “voters” are largely in that group, until they have children to support and raise. The older liberals who never grew up in general have either a mental disorder or, like climate “scientists”, have a vested interest in keeping their income coming in due to their employment.

House Republicans MUST spend the next 2 blocking ANY raise in the debt ceiling and then investigating the decisions the Executive branch makes in where the actual income is spent.

ALSO, there must be NO back pay for any furloughed federal employees or contractors. And no retroactive use of vacation or sick time to fill the gap. Let them get productive private sector employment, if they can.

John Oliver
January 11, 2023 9:29 pm

My faith in humanity is pretty much shaken to the core after watching all that has gone on in the last 3 years. Same old story – foolish infatuation with utopian socialist schemes and plenty of useful idiots. We need to save the United States while there is still a chance. Then maybe we can save the world . Again

Reply to  John Oliver
January 11, 2023 10:06 pm

The dark side is strong in politicians.

January 12, 2023 5:26 am

China has put more emphasis on energy security since the autumn of 2021 when power shortages crippled its industry. In 2022, China said it would continue to maximize the use of coal in the coming years.

China has significantly boosted its coal production, followinggovernment orders. China’s daily coal production hit a record high in November 2022 as demand for heating jumped, beating the previous record set in September 2022.

The Australian coal ban was stupid and counterproductive to begin with.

Just like China’s gross overreaction to Omicron was — even worse!

Communists have the BIG weakness of relying on rule by government bureaucrat and politician “experts” who are actually experts in nothing.

Just like Jumpin’ Joe Biden and his Cabinet of Incompetents.

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Greene
January 13, 2023 3:44 am
Bruce Cobb
January 13, 2023 9:15 am

You don’t get it. China is doing the world a favor in getting rid of all that dirty, nasty coal, by burning it. China says “You’re welcome”.

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