Skip to content

Delingpole: ‘Greta Who?’ China Ramps up Coal-Fired Energy Production

November 21, 2019

By Paul Homewood


A new report out from the Global Energy Monitor (formerly Coal Swarm) brings news that China has 148GW of coal-fired capacity under construction or likely to be resumed after being suspended.

Dellers takes up the story:


China is planning massively to ramp up its coal-fired energy production. This makes a nonsense of claims by gullible Western politicians and dishonest environmental activists that China is as keen as anyone to do its bit to ‘combat climate change.’

Bloomberg reports that China now has enough coal-fired power plants in the pipeline to match the entire capacity of the European Union, ‘driving the expansion in global coal power and confounding the movement against the polluting fossil fuel.’

It says:

The nation has almost 148 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity under active construction or likely to be resumed after being suspended, Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that tracks coal stations, said in the report Thursday based on plant-by-plant data. That’s almost equivalent to 150 gigawatts of existing coal fleet capacity in the EU and more than the combined 105 gigawatts under construction in the rest of the world, it said.

In contrast to many other countries, including the U.K.’s pledge to shut all coal plants by 2025, Beijing remains committed to coal as its biggest source of power, representing a major challenge to global emissions reduction targets. Its additions in the 18 months to June dwarf declines elsewhere in the world, according to the report.

None of this will come as the slightest surprise to climate realists. One of their main arguments against concerted government action by the West to decarbonise its economies is that it takes no account of emerging economies like India’s and, especially, China’s. Any attempts to cut carbon dioxide production in Western economies are more than offset by the growth in China’s CO2 output.

This was predicted in a report published last year by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

As the report’s author, Patricia Adams explained:

“The Chinese have spent a lot of money on renewables without results on anything like the scale required. So despite their continuing outward support for the green agenda, China is actually going all out for fossil fuels. The Communist Party’s grip on power depends on it.”

In his foreword to the paper, former U.S. Ambassador and U.S. special envoy to the UNFCCC Dr Harland Watson said:

“Many in the environmental community look to China to assume the role of global climate leader. But Patricia Adams questions China’s interest in assuming this role as the need for continued economic growth means securing new energy supplies will take priority over climate change concerns.”

The report was, of course, largely ignored by the mainstream media which prefers to listen to ‘experts’ like Nicholas Stern.

Only three years ago Nicholas Stern – amusingly billed by the Guardian as ‘an eminent climate economist’, even though his infamous ‘Stern Report’ has been widely discredited for its poor understanding of climate science and economics – was hailing China’s ‘Coal Peak’ as a ‘Turning point in the history of the world’.

The Guardian‘s July 2016 report began with a flourish:

The global battle against climate change has passed a historic turning point with China’s huge coal burning finally having peaked, according to senior economists.

They say the moment may well be a significant milestone in the course of the Anthropocene, the current era in which human activity dominates the world’s environment.

China is the world’s biggest polluter and more than tripled its coal burning from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide. But its coal consumption peaked in 2014, much earlier than expected, and then began falling.

According to ’eminent’ economist Stern, this was a key moment in the war on climate change:

“I think it is a real turning point,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, an eminent climate economist at the London School of Economics, who wrote the analysis with colleagues from Tsinghua University in Beijing. “I think historians really will see [the coal peak of] 2014 as a very important event in the history of the climate and economy of the world.”

Except, of course, that it wasn’t and it isn’t. China wants economic growth and feels under no obligation to kowtow to the green sky fairy invented by activists in the West to justify their fixation with renewable energy.

This tension between green aspirations and economic reality is only likely to intensify.

According to a separate report, produced by the Stockholm Environment Institute, growing fossil fuel output is likely to ‘swamp’ any attempts agreed by the Paris Climate Accord to limit global CO2 output.

Oil, gas and coal output already planned or in the pipeline will overwhelm efforts to cap global warming at levels consistent with a liveable planet, the UN and leading research groups warned Wednesday […]

[…] “We show for the first time just how big the disconnect is between Paris temperature goals and countries’ plans and policies for coal, oil and gas production,” said lead author Michael Lazarus, director of the Stockholm Environment Institute’s US Center.

This “production gap”—between output in the pipeline and the Paris climate goals—is largest for coal, according the report, a joint project by the UN Environment Programme and four climate change research centres.

Countries plan to produce 150 percent more coal by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2C world, and 280 percent more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5C.

Greta Thunberg can wag her little index finger all she likes. The global economy just isn’t listening.

Despite appearing to level off in 2016, coal fired generation in China has resumed its rapid rise since, increasing by 14% between 2016 and 2018:


BP Energy Review


Last year, China accounted for 47% of the world’s coal fired power, and currently has about 1000GW of coal fired capacity. Potentially this new tranche of capacity could increase China’s coal generation by 15%, though my guess is that it will be offset by closure of older, polluting plants.

  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 21, 2019 1:02 pm

    China laughs at the West’s desire to decarbonised. It’s as good as having the West de-militarise and dis-arm. And it’s no surprise to hear Stern working with them: a true fifth columnist.

    • RICHARD JARMAN permalink
      November 22, 2019 5:37 pm

      The disaster of the West to understand China (certainly over the last 20 years) has been the major failure of politicians and economists (Clinton started this ball rolling down hill) – The next great failure will be to fail to realise that the enviro movement is at its heart anti capitalist (born and fostered in Germany and Sweden) and that the well meaning Greta and crowd are just useful idiots

  2. November 21, 2019 1:59 pm

    Since the AGW Leftist scam is to destroy the capitalist West by making energy intermittent, unreliable and expensive, it makes perfect sense for a Left wing regime that knows the truth to utilise fossil fuels.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 21, 2019 2:16 pm

    See Prof Michael Kelly lecture for the GWPF annual event dated 11 Nov which conclusively shows the impossibility of decarbonisation of the UK to any timescale. One of his graphs between reality and zero carbon had the gap filled by a herd of unicorns. But it’s not funny, it’s a disaster.

  4. James Broadhurst permalink
    November 21, 2019 2:19 pm

    On the day that we reach zero carbon will a tired and cold population, tired from only being able to work whenever renewable energy is available and miserable living in a cold home, look with pride on how their sacrifice has allowed the Chinese and Indians to live without such deprivation? Wars have started over less.

    • November 22, 2019 8:54 am

      They will only be looking at China and India when there’s power for the TV.

  5. john cooknell permalink
    November 21, 2019 2:26 pm

    Makes our political parties (all of them) ban on fracking pretty pointless.

  6. November 21, 2019 2:29 pm

    “China is as keen as anyone to do its bit to ‘combat climate change”

    China is as keen as anyone to do its bit to profit from the climate hysteria.

  7. November 21, 2019 2:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  8. st3ve permalink
    November 21, 2019 3:22 pm

    I understood that China was making ‘some’ progress on coal fired reduction, but licencing for new plant has since been devolved to local regional authorities where ‘less than transparent’ deals have been negotiated resulting in not just more coal fired stations but, just to make matters worse, overcapacity – to the extent that many of these will rarely be run at even 50% utilisation.

  9. November 21, 2019 3:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. November 21, 2019 3:38 pm

    Greta–another pawn the left used, abused and discarded. Now they drive on to another and repeat.

  11. john cooknell permalink
    November 21, 2019 4:35 pm

    My example of how barmy the Green Blob policies are, and our politicians who all jump on the zero carbon bandwagon.

    There are 37million licensed vehicles in UK, all must be electric vehicles by 2030 only 10 years away. At the moment the majority of these vehicles are parked on the street.(public highway) Cars are parked everywhere and anywhere the poor driver can find a space.

    37 million + charging points must be installed in peoples homes and streets to charge up the EV’s overnight. How is that going to happen?

    The next bit is where is the Electric Supply infrastructure, cables charging points, distribution network to achieve this aspirational goal, has anybody got a plan of how it might happen?

    Whether the generating supply will be sufficient is a simpler question to answer, the answer is NO.

    Politicians should learn from the Smart Meter fiasco, that everything counts in large amounts.

  12. Broadlands permalink
    November 21, 2019 4:55 pm

    “China wants economic growth and feels under no obligation to kowtow to the green sky fairy invented by activists in the West to justify their fixation with renewable energy.”

    It is sadly ironic that while China is designing and building new cleaner and more efficient coal-fired plants the US and others are doing the opposite. The bath water, the baby and the tub itself are being thrown out because of the dire predictions of climate models. China must understand that nobody can predict what natural variability might do and they realize that renewables take no CO2 from the atmosphere. It’s time for some “smart meter” politicians to point these things out to Greta and the other Green Deal promoters.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      November 21, 2019 5:06 pm

      . . . building new cleaner and more efficient coal-fired plants the US and others are doing the opposite.

      This says the US and others are building dirty, old, less efficient coal-fired plants.
      I guess I would have expressed this differently. – – winking smiley face – – Poe’s Law

  13. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    November 21, 2019 5:02 pm

    Folks in China explained in Paris that they will (maybe) complete this phase of development somewhat before the year 2030, or maybe after.
    Folks from India phrased the increase somewhat differently, pledging the per person output of emissions would not exceed that of current industrialized countries.

  14. Colin MacDonald permalink
    November 21, 2019 5:28 pm

    I don’t know what the problem is with the UK going zero carbon by 2030. All we have to is contract the economy by 10percent from current levels, each year for 10years. Job done! I call it my Venezuela solution.

    • Gas Geezer permalink
      November 23, 2019 10:14 pm

      Trouble is Colin even your admirably radical solution to this non existent problem would still only reduce the overall economy by approximately 65% over ten years.

  15. November 21, 2019 8:35 pm

    The fact that other countries, principally China, are taking us for a ride is an obvious chink in the otherwise seemingly impervious armour of the virtue-signalling elite that run, and will continue to run, this country.

    Whatever we do will not make a blind bit of difference to global temperatures, but it will impoverish our country. That makes it at best stupid. At worst, it’s a series of words that I am self-censoring because I’m a polite type.

    Why will no one in the media (Andrew Neil honourable exception) challenge these goons?

  16. Wilbert Steele permalink
    November 21, 2019 10:12 pm

    Of-course the UK will be able to have zero carbon by 2030,…………………… the same way that Easyjet will be a ‘zero carbon’ airline!

  17. November 21, 2019 11:33 pm

    There was a time in recent past when the UK led the world Now they are leading the western world to disaster Our locale provincial government here in Canada called Ontario just torn up 750 new green energy projects that the previous government had signed.They are tearing down one wind farm as we speak.The cost is $231 million to cancel but the saving is $760 million to not have the contracts. We are in a surplus power situation and don’t need green energy. Previous government was like the Uk and they lost the last election due to rising hydro costs.. Start spreading the truth about green energy costs

  18. November 22, 2019 1:40 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  19. Steve permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:34 am

    It is ironic that 148GW is the same capacity that the CCC is recommending for the total UK but provided by offshore wind, solar, biofuels, greatly reduced nuclear, gas and hydrogen with carbon capture pumping it under the North Sea. This will be somewhat more expensive than coal. Bye bye industry. Hello hypothermia.

  20. Ian Cook permalink
    November 22, 2019 10:57 am

    Just had a look at Gridwatch. Bearing in mind how soon we are supposed to be getting rid of fossil fuels, it makes interesting reading. So in today’s gloom it is hardly surprising that solar can’t contribute 2%. Wind is managing 16%. It’s cold. Coal is chucking in nearly 5% and with gas at 45%, fossil fuels are providing half of our power generation mid morning. And, to put pathetic renewables in their place, we are also taking 8%, half what wind is providing, from the inter-connectors. (Holland, France and Belgium). Facts that would make the woke choke on their avocado toast, if they ever read facts.

  21. john cooknell permalink
    November 22, 2019 12:29 pm

    Turning council all-electric ‘would mean massive tax-hike’

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    John Connell

    Replacing all city council vehicles with an electric fleet would require a massive hike in council tax, a leading Carlisle councillor has warned.

    Deputy leader Gareth Ellis urged his fellow councillors to be “realistic” about their demands to tackle climate change, as some members called for a target date of being carbon neutral by 2030, to be brought forward to 2025.

    Electric vehicles on charge
    Getty Images
    The authority has explored the idea of moving to an electric fleet in the next five years, which would cost between £15m and £25m, and councillor Ellis claimed that the only way to bring the project forward would be through a 15% to 18% hike in council tax.

    And a meeting of the health and wellbeing scrutiny panel also heard that technology was “not ready” to meet practical demands, with some bin wagons likely to run out of juice halfway through their round.

  22. Sheri permalink
    November 22, 2019 1:10 pm

    Greta dropped out of school before geography and has no idea China and India even exist.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: