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As UN Powerlessly Pontificates on Climate, China Laughs and Doubles Down on Coal



November 1, 2021 - The United Nations starts its next big climate change summit in Scotland on Halloween. There will be no treats—but there will be plenty of tricks in the form of deceptive and empty rhetoric. 

The chief of the conference, a British parliamentarian, said every nation needs to do its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because "…the world will succeed, or fail as one."

Meanwhile, the People’s Republic of China, already the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is piling up more emissions than ever, though you wouldn’t know that from their state-run media (all Chinese media is state-run). 

In the runup to the U.N.’s climate confab, the China Daily published five pieces that starkly show what’s afoot. The first was a fawning piece of Chairman Xi personality worship written by the editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani news agency Baku Tribune, who wrote of China, "The traditional Chinese philosophy of balance fits perfectly in relation to nature in China. In this country, nature and humans are in balance and complement each other." He continued that China, "…(adheres) to the concept of the harmonious coexistence of humankind and nature, prioritizes biodiversity conservation and strives for green development."

Yeah, right. 

This piece was accompanied by a political cartoon helpfully titled, "The burning of fossil fuels is killing us," featuring a wine swilling Uncle Sam relaxing in a hot tub filled with money. The U.S. has seen the largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions among developed nations with China now accounting for more emissions than the entire developed world combined. 

The same paper also featured an article touting China’s hosting of a U.N. biodiversity conference. 

These messages are aimed squarely at the Western environmental community, politicians, and media.

Accompanying these affronts to commonsense were a glowing pictorial on a coal mine, headlined, "Smart coal mine: Higher efficiency, lower costs," and a propagandistic piece assuring Western sweatshop owners that China’s "Coal, power supplies ‘will be sufficient.’"

With the backdrop of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) constant promises to the gullible West that it will control its greenhouse gas emissions, this article quoted the CCP’s secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, Zhao Chenxin: "China will ensure that coal and electricity supplies for the winter season and next spring will be sufficient." The article noted that the secretary general said "…coal mines with the potential to increase output will be urged to tap into their production capacity as soon as possible, and approved and basically completed open-pit coal mines will be encouraged to begin operations."

So, what’s the scale of China’s coal use? How does it stack up to America?

In November 2019, after a long struggle with environmentalists to keep it open, the Navajo Generating Station was shuttered. Located in Northern Arizona near the sprawling Navajo Nation reservation, the coal-fired power plant was the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi and the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in America. The plant and the mine that kept it running employed about 1,000 members of the Navajo Nation as it generated up to 2.25 gigawatts of reliable power for Arizona and the Western electric grid. 

With this massive plant offline, surely the world’s carbon dioxide emissions would decline, right? But less than three weeks later, China had brought enough coal-fired power plants online to erase the supposed gains to the world’s climate. In fact, China built the equivalent of 20 Navajo Generating Stations in 2019 alone and is on track to build 93 more in the next few years. 

Returning to the U.N.’s mutual admiration society meetup in Scotland, one can almost hear the desperation in a recent article in The Guardian headlined, "China’s plan to build more coal-fired plants deals blow to (climate conference)." The piece went on to note that, "China plans to build more coal-fired power plants…" signaling it may push back its timetable to slash emissions. 

Note to Western environmentalists and perennially gullible politicians: the Chinese Communist Party exists to maintain itself in power and for that, power—of the electric, industrial, and military variety—is essential. 

China will continue to say one thing to the West when it comes to its environmental promises and then will proceed to do exactly the opposite.