Tuesday, February 02, 2021
Surprising CO2 criticism
China takes its own authority into the mangle
Not only in Europe and now again in the USA something is happening in terms of climate protection – there are also new tones from China. There, the government surprisingly criticized its own energy authority for not doing enough to combat CO2 emissions.
In an unusual step, the Chinese government has sharply criticized its own Energy Agency (NEA) for inadequate environmental and climate protection. Following an inspection, the national regulator was accused of inefficiency and failure, according to the report of the Council of State Investigative Group on Environmental Protection (CEIP), which was available on the NEA website. “Environmental protection was not given the right priority,” it says.
In the authority, which has been characterized by corruption for years, some comrades see environmental protection as a cost driver and, on the other hand, put energy supply at the center, so the criticism. As a result, not only the capacity for coal power, but also the air pollution in twelve provinces and metropolises continued to rise. The supervisory authority was also accused of not being loyal to the line because it had not followed the political guidelines of state and party leader Xi Jinping.
The ongoing expansion of coal-fired power plants in China contradicts the president’s promise that China will be climate neutral by 2060. This means that no more greenhouse gases are emitted than nature or technical solutions can bind. Xi Jinping announced in September that carbon dioxide emissions should also peak before 2030. At the digital climate summit in December, Xi Jinping also announced that China wanted to reduce its CO2 emissions in terms of economic output by more than 65 percent compared to 2005.
The share of non-fossil energies in total energy consumption should increase to around 25 percent. To this end, nuclear, wind and solar energy will be further expanded. The largest producer of greenhouse gases today relies around 60 percent on coal. The allegations against the energy authority are “unusually harsh and critical in tone,” wrote Greenpeace representative Li Shuo on Twitter. The poor planning for coal electricity led directly to the construction of power plants and regional overcapacities, which were not permitted.
According to a study, China’s coal power capacities would have to drop from currently almost 1,100 to 680 gigawatts if the CO2 targets are to be achieved by 2030. The public reprimand of the NEA takes place only one month before the start of this year’s annual meeting of the People’s Congress on March 5th. At its session in Beijing, parliament is to adopt the new five-year plan, which will also set the course for energy policy.