The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is fluent in globalist rhetoric, including the language of the environmentalist movement, but in reality, it remains the gravest threat to the Earth’s atmosphere and ecosystems.
Despite its talk of hitting “carbon neutrality” targets, China built three times as much coal-fired electrical capacity in 2020 as the rest of the world combined. China added a net of almost 30 gigawatts in capacity while the rest of the world reduced coal power by 17.2 gigawatts overall.
China is not slowing down on coal power – it has at least 247 gigawatts of electrical generation under construction, fueling the explosive growth of its heavy industry and providing energy for clients of its Belt and Road infrastructure program.
The Chinese government deflects concerns from foreign environmental groups by merely repeating that it plans to become carbon-neutral by 2060, leaving environmentalists to hope Beijing’s next five-year economic plan includes some actual movement in that direction.
China’s air pollution remains horrific, a problem the CCP deals with by simply lying about it. An analysis published on Wednesday by Harvard and Boston University researchers found “statistically significant differences” between Chinese-run monitoring stations in several large cities and the data collected by U.S. embassy staff.
The researchers concluded that “government-controlled stations systematically underreport pollution levels when local air quality is poor.”
The university researchers wrote:
Local bureaucrats face immense pressure to report the ‘correct’ numbers to their higher-ups, and some resort to colluding with other local officials or misreporting data. Given these institutional incentives to cheat, official air pollution data in China often is treated with a high degree of skepticism, by both outside observers and the general public.
China’s air quality is generally held to have improved over the past few years, but the government’s official air quality targets for 2021 are worse than 2020, ostensibly to allow for industry to rebuild after the coronavirus.
“Prior to the outbreak, the improvement in air quality achieved by sweeping air quality control measures was already being offset by the rapid increase in the production and consumption of steel and coal since 2017,” Time observed in February. China’s greenhouse gas emissions were also rising before the pandemic locked down many industries.
Time explained Chinese air pollution is a problem that reaches far beyond its borders. According to some studies, “air pollution from China contributes to up to 65 percent of the ozone increase in the Western United States.”