China built more than three times as much new coal-fired power capacity in 2020 as all other countries in the world combined, according to a February report from the San Francisco-based organization Global Energy Monitor.
The report showed that China commissioned a total of 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity last year, which was equivalent to building more than one large coal plant every week. The rest of the world, on the other hand, commissioned just 11.9 GW.
The communist country also proposed more than 73.5 GW of new coal-fired power projects last year, or five times that of all other nations combined. In addition, it has 247 GW of coal power projects under development – a 21 percent increase from 2019 and nearly six times Germany’s entire coal-fired capacity.
These figures highlighted the glaring disconnect between China’s recent moves and the rest of the world’s commitment to forestalling an alleged “climate catastrophe.” While Beijing loosened restrictions on coal plant construction to boost its economy after the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic hit, other countries including the United States announced ambitious emission targets and took up initiatives to reduce their reliance on coal-fired power.
President Joe Biden, for example, vowed to reduce the country’s emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. To achieve this, he made reducing carbon dioxide from fossil fuels a core part of his $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan.
China did set its own emission targets, with President Xi Jinping pledging to achieve peak emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. But pundits questioned how the country would achieve this when it is heavily dependent on coal.
“Energy security in the Chinese context primarily means coal,” said Li Shuo, a climate policy adviser at Greenpeace East Asia. Beijing’s chief concern in the short term is growing the country’s economy by around six percent per year, and a major threat to this is a lack of energy to drive its economy, according to China’s latest Five-Year Plan.
“So how do you reconcile these two narratives?” Li said, referring to Beijing’s conflicting aims to grow its economy and cut its emissions. “I don’t think the plans that have been announced have given us a clear answer.”
Biden and other world leaders are betting big on renewable energy to achieve their emission targets, but research suggested that these might not be as reliable as thought. A study published last year found that the global share of the total primary energy supply from solar and wind energy was only around 1.8 percent. This was despite an exponential expansion in wind and solar power capacity since 1990.
The study also predicted that wind and solar power generation will not improve that much in the coming decades. This was due to the high costs of renewable energy storage and the fact that wind and solar are unreliable. The wind must be blowing and the sun must be shining to generate electricity, potentially making energy supply intermittent.
But Biden is forging ahead with his clean energy plans and even urged other countries to ramp up their investment in clean energy. “Every country will need to invest in new clean energy technologies as we work forward to deal with net-zero emissions,” he said during a major summit of governments at the White House in April. (Related: Biden hands over control of America’s power grid to communist China.)
Meanwhile, Biden’s pursuit of his climate agenda could spell the end of coal in America. Analysts said that Biden must stop coal-fired power generation and invest heavily in clean energy technologies to achieve his emission target.
Shutting down all coal plants could have significant implications for mining states, where coal has long been the lifeblood of communities. In Wyoming, the country’s top coal producer, coal is the state government’s second-largest source of tax revenue, contributing more than $1 billion in taxes. The state’s coal plants also employ thousands of residents and compensate coal miners an average of $82,000 before benefits.
Learn more about how Biden’s climate agenda is destroying America at ClimateAlarmism.news.