A Der Spiegel interview with Kevin Rudd published on September 25th, 2021
There are far fewer nuclear weapons now than at the height of the Cold War. However, the BBC tells us that there is far bigger story than this.
Nearly 60 per cent of China’s energy-hungry economy is fuelled by coal. China is struggling to kick its coal habit. What happens if it cannot?
A story published in the Singapore Straits Times on the 3rd of September 2021
“BEIJING (AFP) – US climate envoy John Kerry is in Beijing this week to urge the world’s biggest polluter to reduce its reliance on coal.
But China is building more coal-fired power plants than the rest of the world combined, a plan that is threatening to derail its decarbonisation plans and global efforts to tackle climate change.
Here are five reasons why Beijing is struggling to kick its coal habit.
Nearly 60 per cent of China’s energy-hungry economy is fuelled by coal.
Despite pledges to peak coal consumption before 2030, China brought 38.4 gigawatts of new coal-fired power into operation last year – more than three times what was brought on line globally.
“In the Chinese context coal is synonymous with energy security,” Mr Li Shuo, a climate policy adviser at Greenpeace China, said.
“Plans announced so far don’t give a clear answer on how China can ensure a steady energy supply without relying on the dirty fossil fuel.” Economic planners are also nervous about slashing coal too quickly as it could cripple growth.
Over the past six months, several industrial hubs across the world’s second largest economy have been hit by the worst blackouts seen in a decade as coal imports were disrupted due to the pandemic.
China’s top decision-making body in late July said it was “playing a national game of chess” that balances the needs of the economy with Beijing’s climate goals.
Greenpeace’s Li warned this indicated a “push-back on the climate momentum generated by last year’s carbon neutrality announcement”, referring to a promise by President Xi Jinping to make China carbon neutral by 2060.
Over a third of China’s six million coal miners lost their jobs between 2013 and 2020 as old mines shuttered, a recent survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found.
Fear of mass unemployment leading to social unrest has forced the top economic planner to slam the breaks on local government plans to cut emissions.
Earlier this month, the central government warned provinces to ditch “campaign-style carbon reductions measures” and do more to cushion the impact on businesses forced to cut pollution.
Most of China’s wind, solar and hydro power is generated in the country’s far western regions.
The lack of power lines that can transmit this energy to factories on the east coast has forced renewable power producers to stop production for months at times.
State Grid – the country’s main utility provider – said it has invested over $45 billion dollars over the past five years to connect renewable power sources to the national grid and build energy storage facilities to ensure clean power isn’t wasted.
But there is still a mismatch between supply and demand.
China launched its long-awaited emissions trading system in July, but the price of a metric tonne of carbon is still less than US$7 (S$9.40) – far below the US$70 per metric tonne in the European scheme in late August.
Analysts have warned this price is not high enough to force big polluters to clean up their act.
The market currently covers 2,162 big power producers that generate about a seventh of global carbon emissions from burning fossil-fuels.
But regulators have given out too many free permits to pollute pushing down the price of carbon, Ms Yan Qin, an analyst at Refinitiv, said in a research note.
Soviet-style energy quotas are forcing utility companies to buy more electricity generated using coal, even though renewables are now cheaper.
Efforts to change or abolish this quota system have stalled for nearly a decade due to pushback from coal-heavy provinces.
“The quota system has meant that the coal power generation business in China is almost risk-free,” said Dr Yuan Jiahai, a professor at North China Electric Power University in Beijing.
“So local governments and industries are rushing to build new coal capacity before the deadline to peak emissions.”…”
In this new blog I introduce you to important news stories that you may never have heard about or seriously considered before. You will notice that I put emphasis on subjects relating to international politics and the potential for war. This includes the politics behind the development of new highly destructive international weaponry. You will find a few of these links are a little dated but I do not feel that this is detracts from their potential reader interest. I intend to update this list from time to time.
Begin your reading experience here:
I hope that you do not mind me sharing this issue with you at this time. Even if you disagree with my position I think that we all should at least be seriously thinking and talking about it and certainly not play politics with the subject.
If you read the literature carefully you will find that this melting permafrost in Canada [also including Russia and elsewhere] is far more likely to adversely impact on the planet than widespread forest fires in various nations as has been happening in recent times. With global warming both disasters go hand in hand! Also see my blog Omnicide who is responsible for the greatest of all crimes generally relating to this same subject.
I will leave it to the following story about this subject to talk for itself:
” ‘It scares me’: Permafrost thaw in Canadian Arctic sign of global trend
…”It scares me,” said Kumari Karunaratne, a permafrost expert who works for the Northwest Territories Geological Survey. “This methane that’s being released is being released over huge areas across the north. And it’s continually seeping out.
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. So, as climate change speeds up the permafrost melt, the permafrost melt will exacerbate climate change. By exactly how much, it’s impossible to say. Karunaratne won’t even try to guess, because measuring it is difficult and imprecise. The area where it’s happening is vast and much of it remains uninhabited and unexplored. But there are dramatic examples that show just how much methane is bubbling up from underground. Some lakes in the Arctic are so full of it, if you punch a hole in the ice you can light the escaping gas on fire. YouTube has videos of researchers and others doing it in Alaska and Siberia. But the same thing is happening in the Northwest Territories.
There are other problems, too.
Last summer in Siberia, the unusually intense summer heat melted the permafrost, exposing a reindeer carcass that had been embedded in it. That carcass was infected with anthrax, a deadly bacteria that had been locked in the ice. A 12-year-old boy died after being infected and at least eight others were sickened. It opens up the possibility that other dangers could be unleashed. Siberian researchers say a gravesite in one town contains bodies of people who died of smallpox in the 1890s. They were buried in the soil just above the permafrost, which is now melting. That’s raising fears that smallpox, which was eradicated globally in 1977, could make a comeback. A woman stands with reindeer in the Yamal-Nenets region of Siberia, Russia, where a 12-year-old boy died and 20 people were infected in 2016 after an anthrax outbreak. An unusually intense summer had melted the permafrost, exposing a reindeer carcass containing anthrax.
Sergey Netesov, chief of the virology laboratory at Novosibirsk State University, told the Siberian Times newspaper that there are thousands of graves in the region — some human, some cattle. The recent anthrax outbreak, he said, is “reason enough to finance research into the diagnostics and prevention of exceptionally dangerous infections.” Whether that happens or not, people in the Northwest Territories know they have no power to stop climate change. Global temperatures are already at record levels and the polar regions are feeling the effects more dramatically than anywhere else. “There are really remarkable changes that are happening in a short amount of time,” said Karunaratne.
And there’s likely more to come.”…”
Also see the story that respected Skeptic allowed to be published in it magazine in 2008 entitled “How We Know Global Warming is Real. The Science Behind Human-induced Climate Change”
(In this instance I do not see that the age of this document is relevant)
Important update from The Diplomat August 1st 2020
…as well as this one too