Confusion surrounds China’s energy policies as GDP and climate goals clash
(The Guardian, 28 Feb 2023) Wave of permits for coal-fired power plants sparks concern as ambitions for GDP growth and lowering emissions come into conflict.
China’s energy policies are fast creating a type of “emissions ambiguity”, as the twin goals of boosting GDP growth and reducing carbon emissions come into conflict.
The uncertainty is whether and when the world’s biggest carbon emitter will start to curb greenhouse gas pollution. The release of the country’s annual statistics communique on Tuesday did not clear things up.
As Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst at Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, noted this month, China’s carbon emissions may have risen 1% or fallen by that amount in 2022.
A crude conversion of the 3% GDP growth reported by China and its 0.8% reduction in the carbon intensity of economic activity – as stated in the communique – indicates emissions may have risen 2.2% last year.
The calculations matter as China emits more than a quarter of global emissions, roughly twice as much as the next largest, the US.
The Guardian, 28 Feb 2023: Confusion surrounds China’s energy policies as GDP and climate goals clash