Many of us in the Western world are spending the most ever on electricity bills, forced to eat fake meat, and paying a lot more in taxes for green initiatives. At the same time, China ignores the green revolution by ramping up record coal production in December.
China, the world’s biggest polluter and consumer of coal, produced a record 384.67-million tons of the dirtiest fossil fuel last month, up 7.2% YoY compared with the same month a year ago. The month prior, production was up nearly 14 million tons. For the full year, output reached 4.07 billion tons, up 4.7% over the previous year.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping skipped out on the Group of 20 summit and United Nations climate conference in late 2021, many Western powers agreed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the end of this decade and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. It wasn’t a mistake that China didn’t show up to the conference because they were too busy panic hoarding coal and other fossil fuels ahead of the Northern Hemisphere winter to avoid an energy crisis. Beijing ordered state-owned energy companies to secure fossil fuel supplies at any costs in early October.
The move to panic hoard sent thermal coal futures contracts on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange to a record high of 2,309 yuan per ton on Oct. 18. By the end of the month, regulators imposed price caps on miners and ordered more production. Prices plunged 69% from 2,309 to 712 today due to the market intervention by the government as coal inventories for utilities surpassed 162 million tons, or about 21 days usage, about 40 million more tons than the same period last year.
One can forget Beijing’s diplomatic pledges to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and carbon neutrality in the coming decades — it simply won’t happen any time this soon as their calls to go green is just hot air.
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