THIS IS A CUSTOM EXCERPT…
Coal conversion has become profitable in China because of an unusual combination of low coal and higher gas and petrol prices. An existing coal conversion plant in Ningdong © Getty Water-guzzling coal-conversion projects are springing to life in arid western China, setting the stage for the large-scale deployment of what was previously a niche industry.
President Trump is expected to discuss the Paris climate change deal when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. But don’t expect much in the way of agreement.
Xi will meet with Trump beginning Thursday at the president’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida, fresh from a visit to Finland where climate change and collaboration on Arctic policy were top points of discussion.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in response to Trump’s recent executive order rolling back former President Barack Obama’s climate regulations, said China will push forward with its plan to cut fossil fuel emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goal.
China, the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases, pledged to put a peak on its emissions by 2030 in a deal with the U.S. that also is part of its Paris goal. China produces about one-fourth of the world’s carbon emissions, topping the second-place United States, which produces about 15 percent.…
China’s Electric Cars Sales Plunge After Subsidy Cuts
Electric vehicle sales in China plunged 75% in January after the government cut subsidies by more than a fifth starting this year, raising the question of whether the country can sustain demand for green cars without generous grants. China is considering dialing back or delaying proposed measures aimed at pushing automakers to produce more electric vehicles, after industry feedback that the targets are overly ambitious. Under draft rules released in September for public consultation, automakers will be required to obtain a new-energy vehicle credit score of 8 percent next year, derived from different weightings assigned to various types of zero- and low-emission vehicles. Companies that fail to meet the requirement face fines or have to buy credits from those that exceeded the minimum. Average production of new-energy vehicles last year may have contributed only about 3 percent of the score required, 5 percentage points short of the proposed 2018 target, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told German media in November that he expressed the view to his Chinese counterpart that the 2018 targets were not attainable. Miao Wei, China’s minister of industry and information technology, told Bloomberg News in an interview in Beijing on Sunday that his ministry is considering either lowering the credit requirement in percentage terms or delaying the implementation date. “We are still working on the regulation,” Miao said on the sidelines of the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress. “It may be finalized around May or June.” Government Subsidies Electric vehicle sales plunged in China in January after the government cut subsidies by more than a fifth starting this year, raising the question of whether the country can sustain demand for green cars without generous grants. Sales of new-energy vehicles, the term China uses to refer to battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell cars, dropped 74 percent in January from a year earlier to 5,682 units, according to data released by the auto association. Full story
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Testifying before Congress, former UN climate scientist Dr Patrick Michaels says the Paris climate commitments from China “are nothing but business as usual” and “the Indian commitment is less than nothing.” Michaels: “They’re not doing anything.”
Hearing: At what cost? Examining the Social Cost of Carbon
Subcommittee on Environment
US House Science Committee
February 28, 2017…
China’s highest legislative body rolled out a new #Environment tax targeting companies that emit a variety of air pollutants, yet they declined to list carbon dioxide. The new law comes after 20 cities were left under a blanket of smoke and fog (smog) last week. The new law taxes any company that pollutes the air and water or contributes to noise pollution.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) committee, which passed the law, will tax man-made emissions like sulfite and sulfur dioxide. Taxes start at $0.20 per unit and $0.17 per unit respectively. For noise pollution, the new law can tax a manufacturer from $50 to $1,612. CO2, however, gets a free pass.
Despite China’s ratifying and signing the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls for a reduction in CO2 emissions to slow #Climate Change, the NPC has chosen to exclude CO2 from its list of known pollutants. For CO2 to be considered harmful, it would need to be at levels 125 times higher than today’s levels. China relies heavily on coal to produce electricity for much of its population.
In the U.S., CO2 was classified a pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under its former head Lisa Jackson. Once classified as an environmental hazard, the current EPA head Gina McCarthy could roll out regulations under the Clean Power Plan. All that could change with the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.
Is CO2 a pollutant?
Though many scientists dispute CO2 is a pollutant, others consider it a major contributor to any increase in world temperatures; it is a colorless, odorless gas and is chemically non-reactive. At 400 parts
China criticizes Trump plan to exit UN climate pact – Claim U.S. ‘economic & social progress will be affected’
China on Tuesday rejected a plan by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to back out of a global climate change pact, saying a wise political leader should make policy in line with global trends, a rare comment on a foreign election.
The world is moving towards balancing environmental protection and economic growth, China’s top climate change negotiator told reporters, in response to a query on how China would work with a Trump administration on climate change. . .
“If they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected,” Xie Zhenhua said.
“I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” China’s veteran climate chief said.
Trump has threatened to reject the Paris Agreement, a global accord negotiated by nearly 200 governments to battle climate change that takes effect on Friday.…
The Balkan region’s first privately-funded power plant came online on Tuesday, increasing the region’s dependency on coal-fired power stations even as environmental concerns are driving them to the brink of the extinction elsewhere in Europe. It was built by China’s Dongfang Electric Corp and financed with the help of a 350 million euro ($391.13 million) loan from the China Development Bank.
Coal-fired power plant Stanari
Planned coal power plants in south-eastern Europe; source Bankwatch
The 300-megawatt plant, in the northern Bosnian town of Stanari, is a foreign investment in a chronically impoverished country that remains heavily dependent on foreign aid more than 20 years after it emerged from war.
Even though the Western Balkans has a power deficit, European investors are reluctant to finance more polluting coal which forms the backbone of supply in the region, attracting Chinese financiers and contractors.
Work on the investment, by Serbian-run but British-based Energy Financing Team (EFT), started in 2013. It was built by China’s Dongfang Electric Corp and financed with the help of a 350 million euro ($391.13 million) loan from the China Development Bank.
EFT, which focuses on power markets in central and southeast Europe, won a 30-year concession in 2008 to build the Stanari plant and expand an adjacent coal mine that will feed it at a total cost of 560 million euros ($625.63 million).
Lignite – the most polluting type of coal – is widely available in the Balkans, making it appealing to governments seeking ways of ensuring security of supply and keeping energy prices low while also placating influential mining lobbies.
The new plant, which will generate 2,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, creating 1,000 jobs, will strengthen Bosnia’s position as a leading energy exporter to the region.
It generates more than 40 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric power, making it, along with Bulgaria and Romania, one of the few Balkan countries with a domestic power surplus.
Environmentalists fear that the region’s cash-strapped governments will be tempted to cut corners in this and other projects, exposing them to costly upgrade costs once they join the European Union.
Some 2,800 megawatts of extra coal-fired capacity is planned across the region in coming years at a total cost of 4.5 billion euros, most of it financed by China.
SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), September 20 (SeeNews) – Bosnian state-controlled coal miner Banovici [SAJ:RMUBR] plans to sign …
President Obama will tolerate a lot for an opportunity to push his climate-change agenda. At this weekend’s G20 summit meeting of the world’s developed (aka “rich”) nations, which account for 85 percent of the world’s economy, his Chinese hosts really poured on the humiliation.
Unlike every other national leader, Obama was not given an opportunity to descend directly from his airplane on to a red carpet. The face-conscious Chinese denied him a staircase, forcing him to descend from the belly of Air Force One, a snub fully reported overseas in the Guardian but touched on only lightly in our newspaper of record, the New York Times. When Obama raised the issue of China’s militarization of the islands it has constructed in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping told him China would “unswervingly safeguard” its claims in the area. When the American president raised the issue of human rights, Xi told him not to interfere in China’s internal affairs. Perhaps the unkindest cut of all came when Xi praised the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions, the issue on which Obama had come to take a victory lap, “It was under Chinese leadership that much of this progress was made.”
Xi was wrong on both of these counts: the Paris accord will not limit emissions, and China was a reluctant signatory to the agreement forged in Paris, largely by Obama, and whereas America agreed to drastic cuts in emissions, China made no such promise. All it agreed to do, at some date in the distant future—perhaps 2030 if that proves convenient—is to begin slowing the rate of increase of its emissions relative to the growth in the country’s GDP. Not a word about ending China’s financing coal plants in other countries—92 in 27 countries is the current count of the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative, enough new coal-fired capacity to offset all the plant closures and emissions reductions planned in the United States for the next decade. No surprise that Xie Zhenhua, China’s senior climate change negotiator in Paris, says the deal struck there is “fair and just, comprehensive and balanced.”…
Warmists lament G20 climate summit: ‘Failed to set a timeline for when the UN climate agreement must be ratified’
On Monday night, the world’s biggest economies shook hands and pulled the curtain closed on the annual G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. And while climate change made headlines during the summit as two of the world’s biggest emitters officially joined the Paris climate agreement, climate and environmental activists are more concerned with what the G20 failed to consider than what it did.
“The G20 failed to set the right priorities,” Pirmin Spiegel, General Director at the Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation — a member of the international Climate Action Network — said in a statement. “They don’t seem to care for our common home. While climate change is only one of ‘Further Significant Global Challenges Affecting the World Economy’, the biggest problem and — at the same time — the one-size-fits-all solution G20 offers to these challenges is growth. They stick to the same old tools that have not been able to solve the climate crisis and global inequality.”
Despite two of the world’s largest emitters formally entering into the Paris agreement — and the agreement itself being that much closer to coming into force globally — the G20 summit failed to set a timeline for when the agreement must be ratified.
In the official communique adopted by leaders at the summit, nations agreed to “ complete our respective domestic procedures in order to join the Paris Agreement as soon as our national procedures allow.” And while the communique “[welcomes] those G20 members who joined the Agreement and efforts to enable the Paris Agreement to enter into force by the end of 2016,” it doesn’t actually say anything specific about adopting the agreement by the end of the year. According to the Indian Express, India’s chief negotiator at the summit pushed for the exclusion of strict deadlines in the communique, arguing that the country was not prepared, domestically, to ratify before the end of 2016.
That’s not necessarily the end of the world, but it does leave the agreement hanging in the balance —India is one of the world’s top emitters, but there are pathways to ratification even if India doesn’t enter the agreement before 2016 (the World Resources Institute outlines those possibilities here). A vague timeline, however, is bad news both for activists in the United States, who want to shore up the agreement before a potential Trump presidency, and developing and low-lying nations, which …