The Truth About China

coalChina will talk a good game at the UN Climate Conference in Paris, but won’t make any binding commitments, concludes The Truth About China, an important new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “China’s Communist Party has as its highest priority its own self-preservation, and that self-preservation depends overwhelmingly on its ability to continue raising the standard of living of its citizens,” states economist Patricia Adams, the study’s author and the executive director of Toronto-based Probe International, an organization that has worked closely with Chinese NGOs for decades. —Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2 December 2015

More than 2,400 coal-fired power stations are under construction or being planned around the world, a study has revealed two weeks after Britain pledged to stop burning coal. The new plants will emit 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and undermine the efforts at the Paris climate conference to limit global warming to 2C. China is building 368 plants and planning a further 803, according to the study by four climate change research bodies, including Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. India is building 297 and planning 149. Rich countries are also planning new coal plants. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has prompted Japan to turn back to coal, with 40 plants in the pipeline and five under construction. –Ben Webster, The Times, 2 December 2015

Adams’s report is worth reading in full not just because of the fascinating light it casts on the Chinese, their economy, their corruption, their political mindset and the tensions between the populace and the Communist party but also because of the very basic fact it underlines about Paris ‚Äì and about all future COP negotiations. Even if China believed in keeping to emission targets, which it doesn’t, its officials are so corrupt, uninterested and growth-driven they would never police them. So it will be stalemate. Any agreement reached in Paris will be meaningless and toothless. And thank goodness for that. Or rather, thank China. –James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 2 December 2015

Despite the dire warnings of some climate change scientists and activists concerning what is at stake at the conference, a long list of contemporary security concerns threatens to overshadow the two weeks of negotiations. At the top of the list are the symbiotic threats of Islamic terrorism and fighters returning from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. Apart from the terrorism threat, another behind-the-scenes diplomatic drama is playing out at the climate conference and it threatens to steal the spotlight—Russia’s involvement in the wars in Syria and Ukraine. –Nolan Peterson, The Daily Signal, 1 December 2015

As Spanish renewables giant Abengoa tries to renegotiate its debt with creditors, sources in the market warn that a bankruptcy could lead to a change of approach for banks financing renewables. Abengoa filed for administration last week after plans for a ‚Ǩ350mn (US$374mn) capital injection being negotiated with Spanish investor Gonvarri fell through. Under Spanish law, the company has four months to renegotiate with creditors before potentially going into bankruptcy. –Melodie Michel, Global Trade Review, 1 December 2015