CHINA - Carbon Neutral By 2060?

Arno Froese

Last year, China committed to going carbon-neutral by 2060, an ambitious undertaking for a country that still relies on coal for more than half its energy needs. The country has invested heavily in solar, wind and nuclear energy. Yet coal-fired heavy industry still made up about 37% of all its economic activity last year, and some provinces are even planning to increase coal-fired power generation.

Coal mining began in Datong as early as 1,500 years ago, when people began excavating shallow deposits, using crude, handheld tools and lowering canaries to detect hazardous gases. They burned coal for heat. Industrial mining took off after China’s economic reforms in the late 1970s, and by the 1990s, the city had 287 mines in production.

But mining has exacted a massive environmental cost. Until the mid-2000s, Shanxi had some of China’s most polluted cities. Residents burned chunks of coal in the open air to keep warm during frigid winters.

“China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects and limit the increase in coal consumption,” China’s President Xi Jinping said at an online climate summit convened by President Biden earlier this year. But he shied away from giving a more detailed energy pledge.

“One narrative is generated by high-level political announcements to achieve zero carbon within the next four decades,” says Li Shuo of Greenpeace East Asia. “The other narrative is that we will still need to use coal because it ensures energy security. Which one of these two narratives prevail in the end?”

In Datong, the mixed legacy of coal mining suggests coal will be ever present in China’s near future, albeit in limited quantities.

-www.npr.org, 14 June 2021

Arno's Commentary

While coal was king, it seems it still is, specifically for China.

According to Statistica.com, China operates over 1,000 coal mines, with India at 281, and the USA with 252 mines in operation.

Difficulties for China’s goal to achieve carbon neutral status by 2060 include the lack of natural gas and oil, which are also considered contributors to environmental pollution. However, China has a great report card, showing achievement of many of their goals during the last three decades. Based on analysis of China’s economic criteria, it’s now the world’s largest economy. 

Will China become carbon neutral by 2060? Only time will tell. 

What we do know and understand is that the nations of the world will be forced to cooperate, dialog, and compromise, for the world has already become one to a degree. There seems to be no turning back.

Pollution is definitely a problem that is not limited to a country, but affects the whole world. Subsequently, closer cooperation is essential.

Here we are reminded of the perfect global unity: namely, the Church, the body of Christ. We are not a political organization or movement, nor do we have a home country, headquarters, or capital city. But the Church is perfectly united. Jesus states: “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:22-23).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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