From Bloomberg News comes a revealing account on China’s approach to climate change and the balance it is aiming to strike between economic growth on the one hand and the needs of the planet on the other. The former, it appears is as important as the latter:
“President Xi Jinping said efforts to achieve China’s climate targets need to work in lockstep with the government’s other objectives, as policy makers seek to balance sometimes conflicting environmental and economic aims.
Xi said the nation’s carbon goals shouldn’t clash with other priorities, which include securing adequate supplies of food, energy and materials “to ensure the normal life of the masses,” according to comments made at a Politburo session reported by the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday. “
His words appear to contradict earlier policy commitments made two years ago to reduce greenhouse emissions as a matter of urgency:
“Xi established China’s carbon targets in 2020, pledging to peak emissions by the end of the decade and deliver a carbon neutral society by 2060. They marked a step change in China’s approach to global warming and sparked a flurry of directives from across government and industry as policy makers and company executives sought to incorporate the president’s vision.
But in July last year, the Politburo seemed to change tack, urging an easing of the aggressive measures taken to reduce emissions because they were hampering efforts to stimulate slowing economic growth. In his latest comments, Xi also called China’s mission to reduce carbon “urgent and difficult” and said that cutting emissions can’t mean cutting productivity.”
At the present time, carbon emission levels across the country are very mixed:
In a report on Tuesday, Greenpeace noted some vast regional differences, with emissions in Beijing on a downtrend over 2005 to 2019, while the manufacturing hub of Zhejiang province saw an increase of 49%.
China’s latest directive on coal also calls for regional differentiation, with consumption cuts of as much as 10% planned in some of the most industrialized areas through 2025 as China seeks to make good on its promise at last year’s climate talks in Glasgow that national coal demand will begin to drop from 2026. “
For the time being the West can only watch and wait.
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it: