Local weather champion China resumes Australian imports and burns file quantities of coal

Essay by Eric Worrall

Nothing says a green hero like burning coal faster than any country in human history has burned coal – and still stepping on the gas pedal to keep coal mining going.

China is increasing coal production and easing ban in Australia to strengthen energy security

By Muyu Xu
January 9, 20235:00 GMT+10

SINGAPORE, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The increasing need to secure energy supplies following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has prompted China to gradually resume Australia’s coal imports and urge local miners to boost their already record production .

The lifting of the unofficial ban on Australian coal imports, which were halted in 2020 amid a fit of Chinese anger over questions about the origin of COVID, is the clearest sign yet of the renewed links between them.

The resumption is also a reminder of their economic interdependence, as Australia’s commodities play a crucial role in boosting the export-led economy of China, the world’s largest consumer and producer of coal.

Rising prices amid Russian sanctions and an expected increase in Chinese coal demand – up to 2% more in 2023 than last yearAccording to analysts at Wood Mackenzie – after the end of COVID restrictions, concerns about energy security have risen again.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/china-boosts-coal-output-eases-australia-ban-bolster-energy-security-2023-01-09/

The Greens often claim that China is a climate champion, despite fears that China is not ambitious enough.

Is China doing enough to fight the climate crisis?

While it appears committed to renewable energy targets, China’s international commitments fall short of what experts say is needed

Helen Davidson @heldavidson Fri 11 Nov 2022 18:55 AEDT

After decades of fossil fuel-driven economic growth and industrialization, China is now the world’s largest emitter of carbon, contributing nearly a third of the world’s greenhouse gases in 2020.

According to the UN, it is also the hardest hit by the effects of the climate crisis in terms of its population and the number of environmental disasters. Average temperatures and sea levels have risen faster than the global average, and in just a year since Cop26, China has experienced record-breaking floods and heatwaves that have brought severe energy crises.

China’s government has committed to global climate pledges and is a big driver of renewable energy, but like many countries, experts have raised concerns about the extent of the cuts.

“It’s complicated,” said Trivium analyst Cory Combs. “The general summary is: you’re really ambitious, but probably not enough either.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/11/china-climate-crisis-renewable-energy-goals

The Greens seem to have a soft spot for dictators.

If Chiang Kai-shek had won the war with Chairman Mao, if all of China was democratic and free like Taiwan, I don’t think the Greens would give them a pass to burn that much coal.

But since China are totalitarian communists, they seem to deserve special consideration when it comes to relations with the green movement.

Many Greens are hostile to representative democracy, and sometimes fantasize that totalitarian thugocrats like China have the greatest potential to achieve the climate policy reforms they crave – even if their would-be Green champion China seems to be headed in the wrong direction for now.

To be fair, the Chinese communists did try to cut carbon emissions in 2021 by imposing coal quotas, but were forced to back down when everyone had used up their quotas and their economy ran out of energy.

Despite this failure, the Greens appear determined to cling to the idea that dictators have complete freedom to impose changes on society. But even dictators must respond to popular unrest if troubles get bad enough, as demonstrated by the Green Party’s 2021 withdrawal and the Chinese Communist Party’s recent capitulation to Covid lockdown protesters.

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