Chinese dictator Xi Jinping humiliated “climate envoy” John Kerry this week by holding a two-day “national conference on ecological and environmental protection” in Beijing without his American guest.
Xi fairly explicitly told Kerry to get lost in his remarks at the conference, declaring that China — the world’s worst polluter by a very wide margin — would set its own environmental “goals” and chart its own “path” to reaching them. Kerry limped out of Beijing empty-handed, mumbling about the “long and detailed meetings” he attended and “frank conversations” he held, but with no climate agreement in hand.
Xi’s two-day ecological conference was essentially a very long restatement of the evasion China has used on the climate change movement with great success thus far, vaguely promising that the heavily industrialized authoritarian regime will reduce its carbon emissions thirty years from now but, for the time being, it will burn as much coal as it pleases and no input from Western environmentalists is welcome.
“China’s commitments are unswerving, but the path towards the goals as well as the manner, pace and intensity of efforts to achieve them should and must be determined by the country itself, rather than swayed by others,” Xi declared at the conference.
Xi said his regime will “actively and steadily work toward carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, foster a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient energy system, accelerate the formation of a new power system and strengthen the country’s capability of guaranteeing oil and gas security”— but not when, or how, it might do any of those things.
Kerry spent the week tweeting submissively about all the “important discussions” he was having with Xi’s underlings, but those meetings mostly consisted of Chinese officials saying they expect the Western world to meet absurd demands such as the Paris climate accords while Beijing pumps out as much carbon as needed to reach its industrial goals.
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International environmental analysts awkwardly admitted that China builds a fair number of showpiece “renewable energy” projects, but it is also increasing its already titanic use of fossil fuels.
“Three years after making its carbon-reduction pledge, China’s energy and industrial transitions are still far from complete,” Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs director Ma Jun told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday.
“Due to complex geopolitical changes, China has shifted its focus to energy security,” Ma added, a delicate way of observing that China is building coal power plants at an increasing pace, averaging about two per week over the past year — which is about six times as many coal plants as the rest of the world combined.
Kerry held a press conference on Wednesday in which he conceded he was leaving Beijing empty-handed. He said he did not make any demands of the Chinese because “nobody should be dictated to,” a sentiment that will come as an incredible shock to Americans who are endlessly dictated to by the climate change movement.
“We did succeed in having long and very detailed meetings with a lot to catch up on. We did have very frank conversations, but we came here to break new ground … and it is clear that we are going to need a little more work to complete that task,” Kerry admitted.
The Chinese Communist government, for its part, is very comfortable with dictating to the rest of the world, and it constantly threatens to halt even its minimal cooperation on climate change if its demands are not met.
“If the U.S. continues its crackdown on China, escalating tensions and hostility between the two sides, it is unlikely to be conducive to any kind of cooperation, including on climate change,” the state-run Global Times threatened when Kerry arrived in Beijing on Sunday.
“It was the U.S. that has sabotaged the atmosphere and mutual trust for climate cooperation and thus needs to take full responsibility for the suspension of formal climate talks with China,” the Global Times lectured, fondly recalling how China threatened to halt climate cooperation because former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan last year.
“While Washington has long wanted to isolate climate change issues from its other political and trade policies related to China, there is actually no way to separate bilateral cooperation on global warming from the broader context of China-U.S. relations,” the Global Times insisted, signaling that China intends to make very aggressive use of the climate change issue for political gain while merrily burning mountains of coal and oceans of gas.
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