China serious re climate change yet building power plants

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    Good article in Time tells of China becoming serious about climate change (not in the article, but surely important – China is prone to severe weather, and the country’s scientists have indicated there are already problems from global warming); yet dependent on coal for sustaining and building growth. Includes:

    climate change for China has become the elephant in the room — an issue the country has to manage diplomatically as well as deal with substantively (two things that are emphatically not, from the government’s standpoint, the same).

    China actually is developing renewable-energy sources faster than any other country in the world. Hu vowed yesterday that by 2020 renewable sources will account for 15% of China’s total energy output — and there are industry analysts, both foreign and domestic, who believe that figure is probably conservative. The problem is that China is at the same time still investing massively in coal-fired electricity plants, the primary source of CO2 emissions, to meet its surging power demands. Overall, in 2009 China will probably add about 80 to 100 gigawatts of capacity to its electricity grid, and 75% to 80% of that will be from coal. In effect, says Gerald Page, managing director of Equinox Energy Partners in Beijing, a venture capital firm, China is adding 1 gigawatt of coal-fired capacity every five days. And that’s not going to change anytime soon.

    Has China Really Gotten Serious About Climate Change?

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