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.

via Watts Up With That?

January 11, 2023 at 08:48PM

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