by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Biden administration has placed tremendous importance on cooperating with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But based on new reports out of China, when it comes to their “commitment” to environmentalism, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is clearly saying one thing and doing the opposite.
I warned a year ago in the Federalist that China’s surge in coal-fired power plant construction was about developing energy resiliency to prepare for war. Their green energy efforts support the electrification of the transportation sector via coal, and their wind-powered electric vehicles and trains are designed to displace imported oil. But the military utility of China’s environmental claims is cloaked with the added propaganda benefit of a green patina.
It was a year ago, on Aug. 30, 2022, when Joe Biden’s climate czar John Kerry, former secretary of state and formally the U.S. special envoy on climate change, proclaimed that China has “generally speaking, outperformed its [climate] commitments.”
The reality on the ground in China tells an entirely different tale — one that should thoroughly embarrass and discredit Czar Kerry — if that were even possible in today’s regime media of environment cheerleaders.
In one decade, 2010 to 2020, China’s coal-fired electricity generation rose roughly 57 percent, with China consuming more than half of the world’s coal.China’s carbon footprint is billowing up under a massive wave of coal use with 243 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity permitted or under construction in 2022. The nation’s hunger for coal power is so acute that “8 gigawatts of previously shelved projects were revived” in the first half of 2023 — equivalent to 10 times the maximum output (when the wind is blowing just right) of Texas’ massive Roscoe Wind Farm — the largest in Texas, with 627 wind turbines sprawled over 100,000 acres.