I am still trying to figure out how those for whom climate change is the most important issue of the day plan to accomplish their goals without impelling China to change its behavior. Consider this from a piece by Chuck DeVore at Forbes:
In the U.S., the state of California and climate activists celebrated the closure of the Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona, one of America’s largest coal-fired power plants, and the Kayenta mine that fed it with 8 million tons of coal per year. Almost 1,000 well-paying jobs were lost in the heart of the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations.
The U.S. mined 750 million short tons of coal in 2018 and is on track to produce about the same in 2019 — but that’s down from more than 1 billion tons per year a decade ago.
Meanwhile, in the People’s Republic of China, coal production increased 2.6% in the first half of the year, with coal mining capacity hitting 3.53 billion tonnes in 2018, equivalent to 3,891 million short tons, or a little more than five times the coal mined in America. The centrally planned Chinese economy expects to add 290 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants in the coming years, peaking at 1,230 to 1,350 gigawatts of power.
Today, China’s coal-fired electrical generating capacity stands at about 1,000 gigawatts and climbing, more than four times America’s 236 gigawatts (which is declining). In fact, China is planning to add more coal power (290 gigawatts) than the U.S. currently produces (236 gigawatts).
Pay attention to what the Chinese do, not what they say. There is no amount by which we can reduce our carbon emissions to compensate for the ferocious rate at which China is increasing its own. And the article doesn’t even mention the coal-fired power plants that Chinese companies are building outside China.