Beijing [China], September 24 (ANI): China took a back seat from its declaration, at the Leaders' Summit on Climate in April last year where President Xi Jinping had stated that Beijing will control coal-fired power generation projects and limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period between 2021-2025.
"China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, as well as strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) and phase it down in the 15th Five-Year Plan period (2026-2030)," he had said.
However, the Chinese President is chewing on those remarks this year, as China on April 2022 announced it was adding 300 million tonnes of coal mining capacity to its already world-record holding production levels, The Honk Kong Post reported.
It is to be noted that China's five-year plans are the core rules that outline its economic goals, development programmes, and general changes for the next five years.
However, barely over a year into the 14th Five-Year Plan, which Xi Jinping is believed to have specified, China has been forced to change its declared direction regarding coal and coal-fired power plants.
Deputy head of the Office of the Central Finance and Economic Commission Han Wenxiu stated that during the draft phase of the plan, Xi "personally made modifications and approved the text and has put in a significant amount of efforts on it."
Considering this it's an unavoidable conclusion that Xi is aware that he over-promised China's ability to transition away from coal in 2021, The Hong Kong Post reported.
The Honk Kong Post reported citing Greenpeace's Beijing office said that not only has coal mining capacity increased this year, but China has also approved the construction of 8.63 gigatonnes (GW) of new coal-fired power plants between January and March 2022.
According to the environmental organisation, that new capacity in little over three months is equal to over half - 46 per cent - of the total additional capacity permitted in 2021.
Wu Jinghan, a climate and energy campaigner in Greenpeace East Asia's Beijing office, the rise in coal is linked to a new wave of rhetoric stressing energy security.
"Instead of a steady source of energy, energy security has become a code phrase for coal." Ironically, China's "energy dilemma occurred in part because of China's reliance on coal," Wu noted as quoted by The Hon Kong Post.
Despite this, government messaging on 'energy security' has risen... The coal industry looks to be resuming full operation."
When China stated in September 2021 that it would no longer finance coal-fired power stations outside of China, most of the globe was shocked and even pleased.
Before reading too much into that policy, interested parties should read the whole of the 14th Five-Year Plan, which covers China's growth strategy until 2025.
Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace said, "This mentality of ensuring energy security has become dominant, trumping carbon neutrality."
Over 70 per cent of coal power plants in the world are financed by Chinese banks under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This is worthy to be noted that China claims that the BRI promotes green development and strengthens eco-environment protection however none of this holds true as far as the reality is concerned. (ANI)