Will the activists concerned about the “climate crisis” go and dance their way through the streets of Beijing to protest this?
That’s probably a big “No.”
In a matchup between those groups, the smart money is on China.
The “climate crisis” crowd has reason to protest China if they actually believe that burning fossil fuel is the road to extinction as they claim. So, going by their claims and their models — here’s the problem.
China is preparing to build so many coal-fired power plants that it could match the entire power capacity of the European Union. It would also be out of line for the global movement away from coal as a fuel source.
The nation has almost 148 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity under active construction or likely to be resumed after being suspended, Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that tracks coal stations, said in the report Thursday based on plant-by-plant data. That’s almost equivalent to 150 gigawatts of existing coal fleet capacity in the EU and more than the combined 105 gigawatts under construction in the rest of the world, it said.
In contrast to many other countries, including the U.K.’s pledge to shut all coal plants by 2025, Beijing remains committed to coal as its biggest source of power, representing a major challenge to global emissions reduction targets. Its additions in the 18 months to June dwarf declines elsewhere in the world, according to the report.
“As more countries turn away from coal and retire their plants, China’s continued pursuit of coal is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world, and is now effectively driving the ongoing expansion of the global coal fleet,” the report said.
Many countries that still rely on coal are trying to phase out the use or are using “clean” coal technology which means that the CO2 is captured and contained underground (sequestration). This is a very expensive process, however, and although China has spent quite a bit on clean energy, do you think that China is going to do that with all of the coal plants that are yet to be built? Perhaps…
The problem is that China should be reducing its current capacity of 1,027 gigawatts by more than 40% in order to meet the Paris Climate Agreement target of 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, however, China will be increasing the coal power production output over the next 15 years.
Climate activists should be very, very upset with China because, despite their investment in “clean” energy, their reliance on coal is offsetting the global gains made by other countries moving away from coal.
Worldwide coal-power capacity grew by almost 35 gigawatts from 2018 through June 2019 as an increase in China’s fleet offset a decline of 8.1 gigawatts in other countries.
The nation is on track to cap installed coal power capacity at 1,100 gigawatts by 2020. However, its coal and power industry groups are proposing further expansion to capacity of 1,200 to 1,400 gigawatts by 2035, according to the report. Should that be adopted, China alone would have more than triple the limit on worldwide coal power determined by the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), GEM said.
(I couldn’t resist.)
It seems to me that to the radical climate activists that are now afraid of having children because the world is going to end in about 12 years or so, China building more coal-fired plants should be considered a huge contributor to that “existential threat” of climate change.
So, are Greta Thunberg, Leo DiCaprio, and all the other climate celebs going to head down to Beijing and hold a major protest?
That seems highly unlikely.
You know that climate activists are most comfortable protesting in North America and the United Kingdom because, in Western countries, they are free to do so without the government cracking down on them for simply protesting.
It’s much easier to superglue themselves to roads in order to protest the use of recyclable plastic straws as The Great Environmental Threat of Our Time™ in Washington D.C. rather than face the possibility of tear gas and tanks on the streets of Beijing. Cowards.