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China’s CO2 Emissions Continue To Rise–Greenpeace Shocked!

May 30, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public


Greenpeace seem surprised that China’s emissions are still rising. They must not have read the country’s INDC!



China’s carbon emissions growth has accelerated since the beginning of the year, leading to warnings that the country could be headed for its largest annual increase in climate pollution since 2011.

Led by increased demand for coal, oil and gas, China’s CO2 emissions for the first three months of 2018 were 4% higher than they were for the same period in 2017, according to an Unearthed analysis of new government figures.

Analysts have suggested the country’s carbon emissions could rise this year by 5% — the largest annual increase in seven years, back when the airpocalypse was at its peak.

This latest uptick in carbon emissions was unexpected. Many thought the government’s 2016 stimulus – which kicked off a construction surge fueled by coal-burning industries – was a temporary state of affairs, following years of falling coal use and carbon emissions.

But big spending on energy intensive industries persisted through 2017, meaning China has been backsliding on the climate progress it made earlier this decade and the rest of the world must redouble efforts simply to ensure global CO2 emissions don’t climb dramatically.




Time to panic?

For the decade up to 2013, China’s CO2 emissions were the dominant driver of global emissions growth, making it nearly impossible for global emissions to peak.

Now government data indicates China’s CO2 emissions went up 4.0% on the first quarter, after a 2% increase in 2017. Calculating demand from government data on production, trade, and industry data on inventories, coal demand increased 3.5%, oil demand 4.3%, gas demand 10% while cement output fell 4.5%. This has led researchers to warn that we could see a 5% increase in emissions from China this year, the largest since 2011.

When China’s coal use fell and CO2 emissions stabilized in 2013-2016, this opened a much-needed window for global emissions to peak and decline as required to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

However, in the past two years, the government has been running an aggressive stimulus program that has breathed life to smokestack industries and set the clock back on the economic transformation and clean energy transition that are so crucial for the country’s future.

If China’s emissions are indeed going back to rapid growth, it means that the rest of the world would have to run just to stay in place – keep global emissions from increasing. The task of achieving a rapid and sustained decline in global emissions would become essentially impossible. The battle against air pollution has also been made harder by the growth in polluting industries – as Unearthed has been highlighting since summer 2016.



Electricity stats from the China Energy Portal show how electricity generation is continuing to rise, up 8% in Q1, year on year. The bulk of this increase has come from thermal.




As I have repeatedly pointed out, the trajectory of China’s energy demand and emissions is dependent on economic growth. Whether growth in the last year or two can be maintained is debatable.

However, if it is maintained, CO2 emissions will be much higher than now by 2030, just as China’s INDC at Paris explicitly made clear.

  1. HotScot permalink
    May 30, 2018 1:23 pm

    It seems Trump was right, once again. China is laughing at the West.

    What an effig surprise.

  2. May 30, 2018 1:34 pm

    And they truly imagined that a Marxist, dictatorial regime was going to tell the truth?

    • HotScot permalink
      May 30, 2018 1:39 pm

      Greenpeace evidently did.


      • Mike Jackson permalink
        May 30, 2018 2:21 pm

        Can’t think why. I’ve never met an eco-activist yet that couldn’t out-lie Nixon when it suited them. Why assume China is any different?

    • spetzer86 permalink
      May 30, 2018 1:44 pm

      China did tell the truth. They’re doing exactly as they promised they would and will likely continue doing it for at least 11 years more. Now, what the rest of the world believed China had promised may be somewhat different.

    • sean2829 permalink
      May 30, 2018 1:48 pm

      Elizabeth Warren loves their long term strategizing. This article is on N Korea but I’m they have a long term goal CO2 emmisions treaties as well.

    • sarastro92 permalink
      May 30, 2018 5:14 pm

      Said dictatorship DID tell the truth… Western Greenies refused to read the Chinese pronouncements and preferred to listen to their internal echo chamber.

    • sarastro92 permalink
      May 30, 2018 5:17 pm

      Said Chinese dictatorship DID tell the truth… Western greenies refused to listen and preferred to tune into their internal echo chambers (ie “delusions”)

  3. Ian Magness permalink
    May 30, 2018 1:35 pm

    “the country’s carbon emissions could rise this year by 5% — the largest annual increase in seven years, back when the airpocalypse was at its peak.”
    Anybody have the faintest idea what they are talking about?
    In any event, I cannot express my derision sufficiently that it is possible to arrive at any sensible estimate of the “carbon emissions” of any country, leave alone one as vast and varied as China where, to complicate matters further, everything published has to be officially audited and approved. Such figures are from a dreamworld.

    • Curious George permalink
      May 30, 2018 3:00 pm

      “emissions growth has accelerated since the beginning of the year” – always an acceleration, whether of emissions, of sea level rise, of temperature. Temperature outside rose by 7 degrees between 9am and 12. If it keeps accelerating that way for another 24 hours, the whole planet will burn.

  4. Up2snuff permalink
    May 30, 2018 1:39 pm

    It has always interested me how Anthropogenic Global Warming was subtly altered to Climate Change around 1997/1998. Now I see from the Greenpeace article (although Greenpeace do not appear to recognise the journalists if searched for) that CC is insufficient, not good enough and Pollution is the new bugaboo. ” The battle against air pollution has also been made harder by the growth in polluting industries – as Unearthed has been highlighting since summer 2016. “

    • rms permalink
      May 30, 2018 3:05 pm

      Even the “pollution” issue is a bit of a myth as there is very little valid science behind the regulations. See Steve Milloy’s book.

      • Up2snuff permalink
        May 30, 2018 9:24 pm

        rms, I agree. It is the deliberate obfuscation attempt that I find interesting and most notable. The science education I had when young was that good science always brought clarity to doubtful situations.

        The AGW.> CC > NOx/pollution obfuscation appears to be more about creating escape routes when first the AGW and now the CC does not perform according to the past predictions of Greenpeace and others.

  5. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 30, 2018 1:41 pm

    Anyone who is surprised by this, wasn’t paying attention at the Paris conference!

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 30, 2018 3:53 pm

    What on earth is “Climate pollution”?

    And, if CO2 is a thermostat, do the dorks at GP think a rise this year will have an immediate effect on temperatures?

  7. markl permalink
    May 30, 2018 5:54 pm

    Wait! I thought China is taking over as our new climate savior! The MSM positioned them as such so it must be true. Their emissions will continue to rise until 2030 when their nuclear energy buildup reaches its’ peak and then it will flatten if not reduce and they’ll start trumpeting their leadership in climate change. The only purpose of this whole charade is to inculcate CO2 as the daemon so they can continue their march to industrial dominance at the expense of the West. People are understanding the real winners and losers in Globalization so they need something to keep the ball rolling.

  8. May 30, 2018 6:12 pm

    China’s carbon emissions growth

    You have to wonder about the intelligence level of reporters who seem to think ‘carbon’ is a gas.

    • nigel permalink
      May 31, 2018 7:12 am

      “…reporters who seem to think ‘carbon’ is a gas.”

      Well, in the USA*, only 47% of adults even know that an electron is smaller than an atom.

      One multiple-choice question (with percentage responses) of particular relevance to our topic, was:

      Which gas makes up most of the earth’s atmosphere?

      14 Hydrogen
      20 Nitrogen
      19 Carbon Dioxide
      36 Oxygen
      11 Do not know.

      These responses seem to be, essentially, random stabs in the dark. It is as if the people questioned actually do not know what the chemical names stand for. The availability heuristic probably accounts for the majority plumping for oxygen or carbon dioxide.

      How is it possible for human beings to be this stupid? And how can you have a discussion with a person about carbon dioxide emissions who actually thinks it has already taken over the atmosphere?

      *Almost everybody goes to school in the USA until the age of 18. But I do not want to pick on the USA. My daughter-in-law is an American mathematician who teaches in England. She informs me that sometimes, with great effort on her part, her kids are induced to grasp a concept – but a day later it has disappeared from their heads. They simply have no interest in building a steady understanding of the world or going beyond their social media whirl.

      • dave permalink
        May 31, 2018 9:19 am

        At least most Americans know where France is and most Europeans know where Texas is. Beyond that…

      • Steve Borodin permalink
        May 31, 2018 10:35 am

        My favourite: I was in a lift (elevator) somewhere in California when a well-dressed American (give him my regards if you run into him) complimented me on my accent. “Your English accent is really good”

        “It should be I am from England”.

        His brow furrowed a bit and he came out with “Is that on the East Coast?”

        However, I have met people in Essex who don’t know where Cornwall is. And some of the American’s maps correctly identified the UK.

  9. Roy permalink
    May 30, 2018 10:16 pm

    Greenpeace ask the question ‘time to panic?’ at the news there’ll be an increase in a trace gas that actually makes the world a greener place… you couldn’t make it up.

  10. May 31, 2018 6:58 am

    At the uncertainty level of natural flows, the assumed perturbation of the carbon cycle by fossil fuel emissions is not found in the data

  11. David permalink
    May 31, 2018 9:08 am

    Has any accurate research been done to compare plant growth rates in different CO2 levels?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 31, 2018 12:45 pm

      I presume those who pump CO2 into greenhouses to increase growth would have a good idea so they know that it is cost effective to do it.

  12. Charles Wardrop, permalink
    May 31, 2018 10:03 am

    Will anyone in touch with politicians please inform them of the lowdown here?
    Do you thing any of them can/wiĺ change policies on AGW topics?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 31, 2018 12:47 pm

      No. Waste of time. We now live in the age of government by crisis. Things will only change when there is a crisis such as repeated blackouts in winter due to lack of generating capacity. They probably learnt this from their EU mentors where every crisis is seen as an opportunity to expand their control.

  13. Steve Borodin permalink
    May 31, 2018 10:38 am

    Historically, China has reduced CO2 emissions by stopping people breathing out. Very commendable.

  14. Gerry, England permalink
    May 31, 2018 12:49 pm

    It seems unfair to blame the Chinese who are having to make all the things that are no longer made in the UK or EU due to global warming taxes on energy making it too expensive.

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