Thursday, March 02, 2017

Good news from China

New Zealand's climate change inventory is due out in May, and is likely to show greenhouse gas emissions rising yet again due to our absence of effective policy. Meanwhile, in China, they're eliminating coal:

A third consecutive year of falling coal consumption and a renewable energy spending spree has made China the new global leader on climate change, some environmental groups claim.

Figures from China's National Bureau of Statistics this year revealed a 4.7 per cent year-on-year fall in coal consumption in 2016.

Coal production dropped even more, and the latest figures confirm a three-year trend of declining coal use for the country's massive electricity grid.

If this keeps up, then China will peak and start decreasing its emissions - which is exactly what we need to beat this. And while they've set a target date of 2030 for that to happen, the risk of air pollution causing social unrest is likely to make it happen even earlier. Meanwhile in the US Republican legislators are trying to ban the technologies which will save us in order to protect the profits of their coal industry donors. Sadly, those people are likely to see China's action as creating more headroom for the coal industry to spew its poison into the air, rather than following China's lead and eliminating it.