Greenhouse Gas Emissions Soar, Even As China’s Economy Crumbles

Country Overview

The People’s Republic of China (China) is bordered by Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam,  Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea. China’s population is approximately 1.28 billion people.

In 2022, China’s economy was ranked 2nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of broadcasting equipment, computers, integrated circuits, office machine parts, and telephones.

China’s economy is struggling due to an unprecedented real estate crisis and government policies. In 2023, the nation’s exports have plummeted, and international companies are leaving the country.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, China signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and to source 20% of its energy from low-carbon fuels by 2030.

In 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared at the United Nations General Assembly that his country “will aim to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”

China’s economic growth has resulted in an unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, China emitted over 11.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), over 33% of the world’s global emissions!

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in China had access to electricity. In 2022, state-owned utility, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) used coal (61.4%), renewable energy (30.7%), nuclear (4.7%), natural gas (3.1%), and oil (0.1%) to generate electricity in across the nation. Hydropower is the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in China.

Recent renewable energy projects in China include:

  • 1,200 MW Pumped Hydropower Storage Project Chinese state-owned company, State Grid Corporation of China is continuing work on the Anhui Jinzhai pumped storage power plant at a site approximately 875 miles south of the nation’s capital, Beijing.
  • 1,000 MW Solar Project Chinese state-owned power company, State Power Investment Corp is continuing work on the first phase of a solar project at a site approximately 700 miles west-southwest of Beijing.
  • 600 MW Solar Project State Power Investment Corp is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 1,100 miles southwest of Beijing. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 287 MW Solar Project Chinese state-owned power company, Yalong River Hydropower Development Company is continuing work on a solar project in the western region of the country.

China’s economic growth has been primarily powered by coal. Coal generates 40% to 45% more greenhouse gases than natural gas.

China imports fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2021, China imported  U.S. $208 Billion of crude oil and U.S. $56.6 Billion of natural gas.

China’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuels is the reason the nation generates more greenhouse emissions than the United States, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, France, and Italy combined.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made bold promises to reduce the nation’s egregious greenhouse gas emissions. The harsh reality is China’s consumption of coal continues to increase, causing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions to soar, even as the nation’s economy crumbling.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.


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