COP 26 and beyond: Is China playing the West for fools?
Nearly 30 years have elapsed since the first big climate change conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. During that time the proportion of global energy derived from fossil fuels has dropped from 87% to 83%, although in quantitative terms there has been an increase in the consumption of such fuels. Some 94% of all global freight by land and sea is moved by diesel engines.
Wind turbines and solar panels account for only 2% - 3% of the world’s total primary energy.
These outcomes are rather meagre given all the subsidies, regulations, and other attempts of various governments to promote “renewable” wind and solar energy to combat the global warming they believe will bring about a climate catastrophe. The 26th world conference, COP 26, which gets under way in Glasgow this week, is unlikely to make a material difference to any of the figures just quoted, still less satisfy any of the legions of greens that jet in for these affairs.
Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will be there, but their Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will not, even though the decisions he makes on energy issues are more important than those of any other government. China now accounts for 28% of global emissions of carbon dioxide, against 23% for the United States and the European Union combined.
No major cuts by China, no chance of “saving the planet”. It’s as simple as that. China has said it will no longer finance new coal-fired power in other countries, but China is building for its own use more coal-fired plant than exists in the entire US. It is also reactivating coal plants that had been closed. All this despite the country’s stated commitment to being carbon neutral by 2060.