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The Road From Paris: China’s Climate U-Turn

For all its green talk, China is sticking to fossil fuels

London, 12 December – While leaders of western countries fret about their greenhouse gas emissions in Katowice, China is forging ahead with new projects and investments in coal and gas. According to a new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the Communist Party’s survival depends on delivering economic growth and cleaner air.

As the report’s author Patricia Adams explains:

“The Chinese have spent a lot of money on renewables without results on anything like the scale required. So despite their continuing outward support for the green agenda, China is actually going all out for fossil fuels. The Communist Party’s grip on power depends on it.”

As a result, analysts expect China’s coal production to continue to grow, with increases of 10 percent likely in the next two years. Such changes dwarf any reductions that are likely in western countries.

As Adams puts it:

“Just a few years ago, China was lauded as a climate saviour. That’s all in the past now.”

In the foreword to the new paper, former US Ambassador and US special envoy to the UNFCCC Dr Harlan Watson said:

“Many in the environmental community look to China to assume the role of global climate leader. But Patricia Adams questions China’s interest in assuming this role as the need for continued economic growth means securing new energy supplies will take priority over climate change concerns.”

Full paper The Road from Paris: China’s Climate U-Turn (pdf)