Last night US Climate Envoy John Kerry was on Newsnight spinning that because the West is shutting coal plants, the world is abandoning coal. The world isn’t doing anything of the sort whatever their political leaders pledge to gullible Western politicians at international conferences. The two coming industrial super-powers are spending billions on a coal-powered future.
Coal India is investing 473 billion rupees ($6.4 billion) on 32 mining projects as the company seeks to boost output to replace imports of the fuel. The sites will have a combined peak output of 193 million tons a year. The miner targets reaching 1 billion tonnes of annual coal production by 2024.
Last week, with comedic timing, China’s Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group Co.’s board approved a $10 billion coal-to-chemicals plant on the same day that Beijing announced its first plan for a path to carbon neutrality by 2060. The Chinese Communist Party’s latest five-year plan aims to promote renewable energy without making any hard commitments to cut emissions.
The result is that in Europe, in particular, energy costs are making it impossible to compete in manufacturing even when it is not labour intensive. The EU’s plans for carbon tariffs are essentially the modern equivalent of buying papal indulgences. The pollution will still happen, just in China, and the consumer will pay a higher price for the sin as a result of carbon tariffs.