A left-wing activist group that has spent years battling fossil fuels now claims China’s clean coal power plants are contributing to reducing carbon emissions.
China can no longer use the same “high-pollution” coal plants it used to decades ago, so the Communist party has decided to transition to clean coal production, a move the U.S. should emulate, according to environmentalists with the Center for American Progress (CAP).
“Beijing has been steadily shutting down the nation’s older, low-efficiency, and high-emissions plants to replace them with new, lower-emitting coal plants that are more efficient that anything operating in the United States,” environmentalists with CAP wrote in article Tuesday.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior adviser John Podesta founded CAP in 2003, and has been deeply involved in the group’s actions ever since. The group urged the Obama administration in 2015 to prevent companies from producing fossil fuels – including coal – on federal lands.
CAP’s praise comes as China’s coal power generation hits a record 396.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), which is almost 8 percent above coal generation the previous year. The country produced a record-breaking 385.6 billion kWh in December 2016, Platts reported.
China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, followed by the U.S. — many climate scientists argue greenhouse gasses contribute to climate change. There is no indication China has any intention of reducing these levels, even as environmentalists and academics continue to claim the country is on the right track.
The Communist country promised to “peak” carbon emissions by 2030, yet its government plans to increase its coal capacity up to 20 percent. Climate scientists consider coal production to be the primary contributor to global warming.
China’s new five-year plan would “raise coal-fired power capacity from around 900 gigawatts last year to as high as 1,100 gigawatts by 2020,” which is “more than the total power capacity of Canada,” The Wall Street Journal reported last year.
Podesta noted in Tuesday’s article that China had no other choice than to invest in clean coal, because the country has “not yet figured out how to develop its own natural gas supplies … and renewable energy expansion takes time.” Natural gas is a relatively new fossil fuel source that has contributed to sizable greenhouse gas reductions over the years.
China has access to significant nuclear power as well.
The country has nearly 40 nuclear reactors operating with a capacity of 32.4 GW and 20 under construction with a capacity of 20.5 GW – China’s nuclear reactor arsenal will balloon up to 60 by the end of the year, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
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