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China, India Shun Biden’s Climate Agenda

April 23, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

What has been the outcome so far of Joe Biden’s video climate summit? Not much according to WSJ:

 

 

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China and India, both with huge and growing appetites for energy, will play outsize roles in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions as the world seeks to come up with more ambitious targets on climate change.

The two countries are similar in many ways. They have massive populations topping 1.3 billion, and both are heavy users of coal, the worst fossil fuel in terms of carbon emissions. China alone consumed more than half of the world’s coal in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency. India is currently a distant No. 2 with 11% of the global share, but its share is expected to rise to around 14% by 2030.

Both countries’ leaders, who have signalled they don’t want to be seen as acting at the behest of the U.S., argued at the virtual two-day climate summit hosted by the White House, which began Thursday, that their nations should shoulder different responsibilities than developed nations in the fight against climate change.

But there are also significant differences in their approaches. While India defines itself as a developing country with a longer timeline for reducing emissions and as a potential recipient of money and technology to help, China increasingly wants to position itself as a climate leader and a provider of technological and financial support.

“China and India are among the world’s biggest emitters, so without them it will be impossible to achieve the Paris Agreement,” said Byford Tsang, a London-based senior policy adviser at E3G, a think tank that advocates for strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
In China’s case, he said, the question isn’t whether the country can reach its own goals but whether it can do what is needed to keep the temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius, a goal set by
the Paris Climate Agreement.
China will reduce coal consumption starting in 2026, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the summit. He also reiterated his pledge from September that China would reach peak carbon emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality—net-zero carbon-dioxide emissions—by 2060 [yeah, right …].

 

china

But he stopped short of promising a carbon-emissions cap, as some climate campaigners had hoped. Mr. Xi “obviously did not want to make any big announcement under U.S. pressure,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a new partnership with the U.S. to expand renewable energy. He didn’t add another climate goal or upgrade India’s existing ones. “We in India are doing our part,” said Mr. Modi.

Developing countries want richer countries to make good on pledges from the Paris climate negotiations to mobilize $100 billion a year in public and private financing to aid the effort. Top Indian officials made financial support among their top requests to John Kerry, the Biden administration’s climate envoy, when he visited this month.
India has already reduced its carbon intensity—or how much carbon dioxide is emitted per unit of gross domestic product—by 26% versus 2005 levels, India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said at an April speech sponsored by the French Embassy in India. “We all have to act,” he said. “But those who have polluted have to act more.”
Under its current policies, India’s carbon emissions will rise 50% by 2040, the IEA forecasts. That is more than any other country for which the IEA did projections, and is enough to cancel out the forecast fall in emissions from all of Europe.
In 2019, China had 9.8 billion tons of carbon emissions. The country’s climate scientists expect emissions to plateau at 10.5 billion tons, based on China’s current policies.
Mr. Xi also said that China would “strictly control coal-fired power generation projects” as well as “strictly limit the increase in coal consumption” through 2025 before starting to reduce it over the following five years.

This leaves room for China to further increase coal consumption in the next four years. China proposed 73.5 gigawatts of new coal-fired power last year, more than five times as much as the rest of the world combined. In 2020, coal supplied nearly 57% of China’s energy, according to China’s statistics bureau. […]
India has already greenlighted around 100 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants, although fewer than two-thirds are under construction and some may never get off the ground, analysts say, since they increasingly have to compete with cheaper solar.
Mr. Modi also repeated India’s target to build 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030—around 60% of its power-generation capacity. The government is also encouraging companies to push into electric vehicles and battery production.
China, too, plans to increase its solar and wind power to over 1,200 gigawatts by 2030, more than double the amount presently in place.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-india-complicate-bidens-climate-ambitions-11619116604?mc_cid=98f7be9b02&mc_eid=4961da7cb1 

 

Let’s summarise what China has promised (or not promised!) first:

  • No carbon cap (emissions are estimated to peak at 10.5bn tonnes)
  • Start to reduce coal consumption after 2026.
  • 1200 GW of wind and solar power by 2030.
  • No mention of any emission targets going forward, other than the 2060 “Carbon Neutrality” promise.

China’s emissions were 9.2bn tonnes in 2015, so this implies a rise of 14% before they peak. Is it likely that they will fall rapidly after 2030?

Wind and solar capacity is currently 413 GW, and it would seem likely that most of the increase to 1200 GW will come from solar. We can therefore deduce that wind and solar will be supplying roughly 1200 TWh in 2030. This equates to 16% of current power generation, but with demand rising by about 4% annually, this figure will come down to just 11%.

As we have seen every year lately, thermal power increases each year to meet rising demand, which renewables alone cannot meet. Although nuclear power capacity may be increased, the planned increase in renewable output simply cannot meet rising power demand, unless the economy grinds to a halt.

In other words, Xi’s promise to start reducing coal consumption after 2026 does not stack up, unless it is as a result of the new breed of highly efficient (HELE) coal power stations. Either way, any reduction in coal use is likely to be tiny.

The clue lies in that eia graph above, which projects that the amount of coal and gas power generation will remain flat through to 2040. At best, rising low carbon generation does no more than meet growing demand.

I may be wrong, but surely China would be setting clear, verifiable targets of reductions in coal use and emissions if they were in any way serious.

 

Then we come to India, where we can expect

 

  • Emissions to rise by 50% by 2040, which will take them above current EU emissions
  • No new commitment regarding emissions or other climate goals
  • 450 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.

Again, we need to appreciate how tiny these apparently large numbers really are, That 450 GW of renewable capacity will produce something like 150 TWh, which is less than a tenth of current generation, never mind the much higher level in ten years time.

The Indian government knows full well that it cannot run its economy on unreliable wind and solar power. Hence the need for more and more reliable generation.

Once again we hear the fake claims from so-called experts that “cheap” solar power will stop a lot of the new coal power capacity from coming on stream. The Indians know better, and have worked out that such comparisons are meaningless – solar power can never replace reliable generation.

And as with China, it is no coincidence that Modi is not prepared to firmly commit to any actual targets for emission reductions. To both India and China, such emissions are secondary to the first priority, which is economic growth.

 

Underlying all of this game playing is, of course, that $100 billion a year, promised by the rich countries back in 2009 in Copenhagen. As long as this is still on the table, China, India and the rest of the developing world will still appear to play along with the West’s game.

26 Comments
  1. April 23, 2021 10:14 pm

    Carbon dioxide doesn’t determine global temperatures. Time to end the delusion.

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    April 23, 2021 10:35 pm

    China will meet the 1.5℃ target because they know the world will cool and will never reach it.

  3. April 23, 2021 10:40 pm

    You say China has promised to start to reduce coal consumption after 2026, but the BBC’s McGrath reports Xi as saying: “We will strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th five-year plan period and phase it down in the 15th five-year plan period.” I read that as meaning they will phase down the increase (until 2030) meaning that they will decelerate, not reduce, coal consumption.

    ”Underlying all of this game playing is, of course, that $100 billion a year, promised by the rich countries back in 2009 in Copenhagen. As long as this is still on the table, China, India and the rest of the developing world will still appear to play along with the West’s game.”

    What’s on the table is the promise, not the money. China is playing along with the pretence of a deal, knowing full well that the West will never keep its side of the bargain.

  4. Hawklord permalink
    April 23, 2021 10:47 pm

    I take it then we can all look forward to those poor, brave deluded souls from the likes of Climate Extinction appearing on the MSM as they take the righteous fight on the ground to India & China in the immediate future.
    Except of course they’re not that brave…..& they’re not that deluded. What a shame their collective spine fails outside the boundaries of the West…..

    • Hawklord permalink
      April 23, 2021 11:37 pm

      Or even Extinction Rebellion!(😡) who, as the DT reported today were carrying out some brave breaking of windows at HSBC’s HQ in Canary Wharf.
      One of these brave souls, a 62 years old grandmother, was quoted saying, “I shouldn’t be having to do this.” As the report continues,
      ‘ Personally I have always tried to hold it as a general rule of thumb that if you ever find yourself on a weekday morning using a hammer and chisel to try to break windows in a public space and catch yourself thinking, “I shouldn’t be having to do this,” then the likelihood is that you don’t.
      But that is the problem with the diehards of the climate cult. For them it is not possible to examine evidence, weigh up the options and come to any reasonable conclusions. It is not even possible to doubt the efficacy of the cult’s crazier actions even as you are taking part in them. For such true believers the whole thing is already clear: we are all going to die, very soon and if we aren’t going to die very soon then our children and grandchildren will, and so we have to do whatever is needed right now to save them from the flames. Our ancestors in the Middle Ages may have been confused by some of the specific language of the climate cult but they would have understood the theology very well.’

      Quite.

  5. Thomas Carr permalink
    April 24, 2021 12:19 am

    China and India have the same access to the climate and related statistics that Paul has so ably presented to us in the past.

    I would have thought that they could summarise some of them and used to present the argument that the case for declaring any climate emergency is rooted in paranoia and unreasoned fear.

    The only sense in China and India appearing to be receptive to Biden’s arguments would be to impoverish western economies as one might in an arms race where one side spends a fortune on arms to defend against a manufactured threat.

    V.Putin understands this type of economic aggression when he moves troops and armour to frighten Crimea’s neighbours and the Baltic states.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      April 24, 2021 10:25 am

      I am sure there is considerable glee in China at the prospect of the West simply abandoning fossil fuel projects that they can take over with no competition for their own use. Belt & Road will score big time..

  6. Broadlands permalink
    April 24, 2021 1:12 am

    “China and India are among the world’s biggest emitters, so without them it will be impossible to achieve the Paris Agreement,” said Byford Tsang, a London-based senior policy adviser at E3G, a think tank that advocates for strategies to reduce carbon emissions.” In China’s case, he said, the question isn’t whether the country can reach its own goals but whether it can do what is needed to keep the temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius, a goal set by the Paris Climate Agreement.”

    When will the Paris ‘experts’ understand that reducing carbon emissions does nothing to lowering the CO2 already added, and therefore can do nothing to lower global temperatures. Yes, it does keep carbon In the ground but it also creates social and economic chaos. We are in the middle of that right now with pandemic travel lockdowns lowering our collective carbon footprints while the CO2 makes a new record.

  7. Chris Morris permalink
    April 24, 2021 2:03 am

    Hasn’t China still got a lot of inefficient coal powered CHP plants going? They can shut these and open a new HELE plant at about the same consumption but a lot more power. Even with this, China has no intention of reducing its coal burn and quite rightly, is taking the Western world as mugs.

  8. April 24, 2021 6:02 am

    Also this

    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-6U2

  9. John Peter permalink
    April 24, 2021 8:18 am

    “450 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.” Good luck to the Chinese if they have a constant supply of wind unlike here with 1.86GW as I write. Xi knows well about variable wind and solar. We are the fools. As stated above, this is about the $100 billion from us.

    • dave permalink
      April 24, 2021 8:51 am

      “…this is about the $100 billion from us.”

      It may be so, for some of the bit-player countries. But that sum is peanuts to China..
      It is their GDP for TWO DAYS. For them, it is mainly about ‘playing’ the decadent West, and encouraging us to keep ‘drinking the Kool-Aid.’

    • April 24, 2021 9:45 am

      Don’t forget China’s total power generation is about 20 times ours, so UK equivalent is only about 20 GW, similar to what we have now

  10. grammarschoolman permalink
    April 24, 2021 8:25 am

    Can we export Extinction Rebellion to Tiananmen Square?

  11. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 24, 2021 8:40 am

    Don’t forget that Boris gave £20 from every man woman and child in the U.K. to the Green Climate Fund in March 2019

  12. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 24, 2021 10:44 am

    Boris Johnson and the fake ‘Conservative’ party have both cooked their political goose with me. No more will I vote ‘Conservative’ while he’s PM, or they run with this insane green agenda.

    The first part of that may not be in place forever though, given Dominic Cummings has declared war on Johnson. Revelations suggest Johnson could be in plenty of trouble.

    Getting him and Nut Nut out of No.10 would be a good start.

  13. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 24, 2021 10:50 am

    China’s hydro mania has been catastrophic for the environment and is a real ‘extinction crisis’ in its own right.

    Meanwhile, more encouragement for the XR morons, even though the judge gave the correct advice the jury apparently ignored him.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-56853979

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      April 24, 2021 10:50 am

      Sorry, repost I see!

    • Mad mike permalink
      April 24, 2021 11:12 am

      It must have been obvious to some jurors that their consciences and/or biases would prevent them from properly fulfilling their obligations of being jurors and should have asked to be released. They didn’t and from then on left themselves open to breaking their oaths.

      Apart from what you believe about CC, it’s a sad day for the UK and the rule of law. They should now be prosecuted for the perversion of justice.

      • dave permalink
        April 24, 2021 12:53 pm

        “…they should now be prosecuted for the perversion of justice…”

        Most emphatically not. It is, and always has been, the right of a jury to bring in a special verdict acquitting someone while acknowledging that a law has been broken by that person. A bulwark against the State misusing its discretion to prosecute.

  14. Stephen Lord permalink
    April 24, 2021 4:19 pm

    China and
    India sre pursuing climate theater. They hop to burdrn their competitors anFCC get subsidies while ppromising tok do stuff later. They know there is no real problem and that actually C
    O2 emisssions hell their food prodf uction.

  15. mwhite permalink
    April 24, 2021 6:45 pm

    https://realclimatescience.com/2021/04/biden-wears-mask-to-his-virtual-climate-conference/

    Perhaps there is a new infectious strain I’ve not heard about

  16. Gamecock permalink
    April 24, 2021 7:00 pm

    Ask BidenLOL to point to India on a globe. Watch him squirm.

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