China’s roaring recovery must be taken with heapings of salt. The country has reclaimed all lost output since the pandemic, but only by doubling down on an exhausted model of market-Leninism that goes nowhere. Little of this "economic activity" is responding to any meaningful market signal, and it amounts to ecological vandalism. China’s return to its worst industrial habits is an environmental disaster. Global Energy Monitor says China is developing 250 gigawatts of new coal-fired plants - twice the entire existing coal power capacity of the EU. It has proposed another 41GW this year and has relaxed its “traffic light” system for limiting permits. The excuse is that the latest plants will displace dirtier facilities but this technology curbs local air pollution much more than carbon emissions. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that China is thumbing its nose at the world and is giving up any serious effort to wean the economy off coal, still generating two-thirds of the country’s power.
Source: The Telegraph