China Briefing, 20 January 2022: ‘Record-high’ coal output; Winter Olympics 2022; Xi’s new directives

MEDIA COVERAGE: Reuters stated that Chinas coal production “hit record highs” in both December and across the whole of 2021. Mysteel– a site focusing on product news, analyses and information– said that Decembers coal production was “a record high since the NBS information was available in 1989”.

At a press conference last Thursday, Li Sen, director-general of the basic preparation department at the Beijing Organising Committee for the video games, said that the upcoming occasion “will attain carbon neutrality completely”. He mentioned a series of steps, including “low-carbon” venues, “green” electrical energy, automobiles run on “clean energy” and using natural CO2 as a refrigerant.

On the other hand, the organisers of the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing have pledged that the games “will accomplish carbon neutrality fully”. In a new “sustainability” report, they have mentioned that all of the carbon emissions created by the event– approximated to be 1.3 m tonnes of co2 equivalent (CO2e)– are set to be “fully neutralised” through a series of measures.

WHAT: Chinas National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) launched its energy production figures for December on Monday. It said that the nation had actually produced 380m tonnes of “raw” (unprocessed) coal throughout the month– a 7.2% year-on-year increase– with a typical daily production of 12.41 m tonnes. The main figures likewise revealed that throughout 2021, China had produced 4.07 bn tonnes of raw coal, up 4.7% compared to 2020. The news came as Chinas leading financial organizer, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), stated on Tuesday that coal stock in those electrical energy plants based on the instructions of state-run grids had actually been “at the highest level for the exact same duration in history”. It worried that the nations demand for electrical power would be “successfully guaranteed”. In 2021, coal comprised 64% of power generation in China, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

WHEN: Also last Thursday, the organisers launched a report to elaborate on the steps for attaining “sustainability” and “carbon neutrality”. Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, praised those procedures. He stated: “From reusing locations from the Olympic Games 2008 to powering all Beijing 2022 places with renewable resource, to the numerous measures to minimize and reduce ecological effects carbon emissions … all these efforts are inspired by Olympic Agenda 2020 and highlight the dedication of Beijing 2022 to contribute to the sustainable development in China.” The reports highlights consist of:.

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In other places, Chinese president Xi Jinping provided brand-new climate-related guidelines on Monday. He said that it would be “difficult [for China] to achieve [its environment objectives] in one stroke”. He also directed the country to “break [old systems] while establishing [brand-new ones] and “go consistent and stable”. These phrases are discussed listed below..

QUOTES: Dr Shi Xunpeng, research principal at the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, told Carbon Brief that the news of another “historical peak” of coal production was “anticipated” and “not contradictory” to Chinas promise of peaking emissions prior to 2030. He pointed to a speech Xi had actually made last April. It would not be a surprise to see documented levels of coal production and intake in the next 5 years or so.”.

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Key advancements.


DEVELOPMENT: Chinas energy regulator, the National Energy Administration, said in a release on Monday that Chinas electrical power consumption had actually reached 8,312 terawatt hours in 2021, a 10.3% increase compared to 2020. A day later, Li Yunqin– director of the Bureau of Economic Operations Adjustment at the NBS– stated that the nations electrical energy consumption was anticipated to “grow fairly quickly” in 2022..

Chinas coal mining struck a “record high” in December, reaching 384.67 m tonnes– a 7.2% year-on-year increase– according to Reuters. It added that the countrys coal production for the entire of 2021 likewise climaxed, totalling 4.07 bn tonnes, up 4.7% compared to 2020. The newswire mentioned the newest figures from Chinas National Bureau of Statistics.

(The coal production growth rate in China was 3.2% in 2017, 4.5% in 2018 and 4.2% in 2019). He described that Chinas coal production growth had “slowed substantially” in recent years, falling from approximately 15% throughout the very first years of the century.

Beijing details carbon-neutral steps for Olympics.

China sees record high coal output in December and 2021.

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1.3 M TONNES: The organisers have forecasted the games “greenhouse gas (GHG) standard emissions” to be 1.3 m tonnes of CO2e, which cover the indirect and direct emissions during the preparation and the hosting. According to the report, the emissions are set to be neutralised through emissions-reduction measures, such as energy conservation, and offsetting procedures, such as carbon offsetting and forest sinks..

EXPLANATION: Prof Alex Wang, the professors co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of UCLA School of Law in the United States, informed Carbon Brief that, by mentioning that China could not “achieve [its environment goals] in one stroke”, Xi was calling for “perseverance and understanding in the face of sluggish actions, or possibly actions that seem counter to peaking and neutrality”. He stated the order of “break [ing old systems] while establishing [brand-new ones] might be checked out as “a shot across the acquiesce coal and other sources of greenhouse gases” and “certainly appears more appealing” than its previous version. Dr Guo Li, research study associate of Lau China Institute at Kings College London, informed Carbon Brief that the modification of the phrasing could be a sign of “guarantee” of Chinas environment aspiration, in addition to sign that Xi was “more confident than in 2015 when he appeared to apply brakes on the scramble to minimize emissions”.

WHAT: Chinas president Xi Jinping provided new guidelines on the nations efforts to peak carbon emissions and accomplish carbon neutrality at a virtual address at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday. According to Carbon Briefs translation of his Chinese speech, Xi said that it would be “impossible [for China] to achieve [its environment goals] in one stroke (不可能毕其功于一役)”. He added that China ought to “break [old systems] while developing [brand-new ones] (破立并举)” and “go steady and steady (稳扎稳打)” to perform energy transition. (Carbon Brief understands that Xi was most likely describing the “breaking” of fossil-fuel systems and the “establishment” of renewable resource.) Xi discussed that the nation would “reduce [making use of] standard energy gradually and orderly in the course of promoting trustworthy new energy substitutions to make sure stable social and economic advancement”..

Dominant change pattern of extreme precipitation and its potential causes in Shandong Province, ChinaScientific Reports.

Additional reading.

Xi orders stable and stable environment drive in Davos address.

New science.

TRANSPORT: The bulk of the 4,090 lorries serving the games three zones will be powered by sustainable energy, according to the report. It said that the transportation in the Beijing zone would “primarily” count on pure electrical and natural-gas-powered cars. The zones of Zhangjiakou and Yanqin– a Beijing suburb– are due to use hydrogen-fuelled vehicles “mainly”..

A brand-new research study has used a form of probabilistic modelling, called Monte Carlo analysis, to examine 3,000 cases of energy shift situations with different carbon peak times, technological development pathways and cumulative carbon spending plans for China. The evaluation revealed that if the countrys energy system peaks its carbon emissions in 2025, it would require a 45-62% electrification rate, 47-78% renewable resource in primary energy supply and 5.2-7.9 terawatts of solar and wind power to be in line with the nations 2060 carbon neutrality objective. In addition, the system would require 1.5-2.7 petawatt hours of energy storage use and 64-1,649 m tonnes of CO2 of negative emissions by 2025. Peaking emissions in 2025 would likewise “synergistically” reduce around 80% of local air toxins in 2050, the study discovered..

PLACES: All of the 16 sporting locations– whether they are freshly constructed or refurbished– have actually been certified as “green” buildings, according to different market standards, the report stated. 3 “ultra-low-energy” locations embrace improved energy-saving measures, consisting of solar-powered warm water systems. The report added that the organisers would recycle CO2 from industrial waste gases and use it as a refrigerant to make ice in some locations.

Evaluating the energy transition in China towards carbon neutrality with a probabilistic frameworkNature Communications.

DIFFERENCE: The newest directives echo some previous orders released by Xi last year by stressing well balanced, coordinated efforts (similar to these orders from July) and highlighting the significance of an “organized” replacement of fossil fuels (similar to his coal directions in September). Nevertheless, there are likewise notable distinctions. In August, the Chinese management directed the nation to” establish [new systems] prior to breaking [old ones] (先立后破)”. (Carbon Brief has analysed the order in this explainer.) In Xis speech on Monday, his regulation was to “break [ old systems] while establishing [brand-new ones], getting in touch with the nation to minimize nonrenewable fuel sources and establish renewable energy all at once.

RENEWABLE: The organisers have actually promised that the “standard” electrical energy demand of all places will be supplied by renewable resource. The report highlighted the role of the Zhangbei eco-friendly energy flexible DC power grid, a ₤ 1.4 bn task introduced in 2020 to take in the wind, solar and biomass power from Zhangjiakou prior to converting it to direct current for Beijing users..

New research study has actually studied the “dominant variation patterns” of extreme precipitation in Shandong province on Chinas east coast from 1961 to 2015. By evaluating daily precipitation information from 123 meteorological stations, the researchers discovered that there has actually been a “dry trend” in the province over the 55 years. The paper stated that there was a “decline” in precipitation over the duration in the area and many of the severe rainfall index showed a downward pattern “to differing degrees”. Nevertheless, the scientists found that, after the 1980s, the severe rainfall index revealed an upward pattern, indicating that severe rainfall occasions have actually shown an increasing trend in recent years.

SIGNIFICANCE: Prof Wang thought that Xis speech was calling for “moderate, steady reform” by promoting trustworthy brand-new energy and gradually decreasing traditional energy. Dr Guo Li said the address signified that China would take “mindful steps and actions” in pushing its carbon peaking and carbon neutrality program and that “individuals ought to expect to see problems and slow progress in this procedure”.

FAKE SNOW: China has faced debate over its usage of artificial snow for the games. The report stated that the organisers would only use “surface area water” for making ice and snow and “the recycling of rainwater and snowmelt water is fully considered”. CGTN– the English arm of Chinas state broadcaster– released a report, saying that “experts dismiss criticisms” of Beijings synthetic snow.

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A new study has actually used a form of probabilistic modelling, understood as Monte Carlo analysis, to assess 3,000 cases of energy transition scenarios with different carbon peak times, technological advancement paths and cumulative carbon budgets for China.

WHAT: Chinas National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released its energy production figures for December on Monday. In 2021, coal made up 64% of power generation in China, according to a brand-new report by the International Energy Agency.

Dr Guo Li said the address indicated that China would take “mindful measures and actions” in pressing its carbon peaking and carbon neutrality program and that “individuals ought to expect to see problems and sluggish progress in this procedure”.

Dr Guo Li, research partner of Lau China Institute at Kings College London, told Carbon Brief that the change of the phrasing might be a sign of “guarantee” of Chinas environment aspiration, as well as sign that Xi was “more confident than last year when he appeared to apply brakes on the scramble to reduce emissions”.