China Continues To Laugh At Western “Green Energy” Foolishness – Watts Up With That?


/ Francis Menton

With the energy cost crisis now hitting Europe and, to a lesser extent, the US, some cracks have begun to appear in the “net zero” utopian dreams almost universally pursued by Western politicians. However, at the time of writing, the rapid phase-out of fossil fuel use, ostensibly to fight “climate change”, remains official government policy across Europe, at the federal level in the US. , in most of the blue American states and also in Canada. Australia and New Zealand. Here in the US, although President Biden has ordered some temporary measures, such as the release of some oil from the nation’s strategic reserves, the entire federal bureaucracy remains under orders from above to force production cuts and the use of fossil fuels in all possible ways. . Meanwhile, states like New York and California are fast approaching legal deadlines to shut down all fossil fuel power plants, ban all non-electric cars, ban natural gas for heating and cooking, and quickly turn the century past energy progress you’ve made. our lives affordable and enjoyable.

We are supposed to believe that official fossil fuel phase-out policies will stop “climate change” and “save the planet” through the mechanism of rapid aggregate reductions in emissions of CO2 and other “greenhouse gases.” The rescue of the planet’s climate will make our sacrifices worthwhile in the form of higher energy prices, higher taxes to support renewable energy subsidies, and lifestyle restrictions.

But in fact, that narrative is all nonsense. In the West, more than twenty years and billions of dollars of subsidies for “green energy” schemes have achieved only marginal reductions in the proportion of final energy consumption derived from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, the use of fossil fuels continues to increase. Leading the way is China, which has used the last two years of distraction from Covid to push its emissions to new highs. In the big picture, the Western obsession with reducing emissions, despite the enormous costs, has no impact that is even perceptible.

Two recently released reports paint a real-world picture of ever-increasing fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions (although there was a small Covid-induced bump in 2020). In March, the United Nations International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Annual Global Energy Report: CO2 Emissions in 2021. In addition, the Global Warming Policy Foundation released its 58th Report titled “China’s Energy Dream “, written by Patricia Adams. (Full disclosure: I am the president of American Friends of the GWPF.) Both reports underscore the utter absurdity of the West’s ongoing green energy folly.

Start with the IEA. As much as it must hurt them as good UN officials, the IEA gives us direct information on the continuing rise in global CO2 emissions, despite the strenuous efforts of Western nations to reverse the trend:

Global CO2 emissions from energy burning and industrial processes rebounded in 2021 to reach their highest annual level. A 6% increase from 2020 brought emissions to 36.3 gigatonnes (Gt). . . . Emissions increased by almost 2.1 Gt from 2020 levels. This places 2021 above 2010 as the largest year-on-year increase in energy-related CO2 emissions in absolute terms. The rebound in 2021 more than reversed the pandemic-induced decline in emissions of 1.9 Gt experienced in 2020. CO2 emissions in 2021 rose to around 180 megatonnes (Mt) above the pre-pandemic level of 2019 .

Here is the IEA table of global emissions since 1900:

To summarize the picture, the Western obsession with “green energy” and “renewable energy” since about the year 2000 has been accompanied by a 50% increase in annual global CO2 emissions, from 24.3 Gt in 2000 to 36.3 Gt in 2021.

So what is driving the recent rapid rise in global CO2 emissions? According to the IEA, it is mainly China:

The rebound in global CO2 emissions above pre-pandemic levels has been largely driven by China. . . . China’s CO2 emissions increased by 750 Mt over the two-year period between 2019 and 2021. China was the only major economy to experience economic growth in both 2020 and 2021. The increase in emissions in China more than offset the aggregate decline in the rest of the country. world of 570 Mt between 2019 and 2021. . . . With rapid GDP growth and further electrification of energy services, China’s electricity demand grew by 10% in 2021, faster than economic growth of 8.4%. The increase in demand of almost 700 TWh was the largest ever experienced in China. As demand growth outpaced low-carbon supply growth, coal was asked to cover 56% of the increase in electricity demand.

Ms Adams’ report for GWPF describes China’s accelerating development of its fossil fuel resources, in particular coal-fired power plants:

Beijing is unwilling to give up coal, its safest form of energy. In 2020, it accounted for 57 percent of China’s total energy consumption. Last year, its 38.4 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants was more than triple the new capacity built in the rest of the world. Another 247 gigawatts are being planned or developed, with more to follow. Last year, Chinese provinces approved the construction of 47 gigawatts of coal power projects, more than triple the capacity allowed in 2019.

Noting China’s continued development of its fossil fuel infrastructure, Ms. Adams comments that China has no intention of weakening itself by adopting CO2 emission reduction targets:

Pursuing CO2 reductions within China would not meet the goal of preserving communist rule or becoming the world’s foremost superpower by 2049. For China’s leaders, it’s a no-brainer. Carbon dioxide reductions only make sense to those you want to harm and supplant.

Read the full article here.


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