23 Nov 2010

China’s coal imports – up, up and away

Written by Jim Pierobon

Head’s up about this excellent coverage by The New York Times’ Elizabeth Rosenthal and follow-up earlier today about ever-increasing coal purchases by China and coal’s rising price on the global market. It is impossible to ignore the significance of what’s going on here.

Tons of coal such as these ready for export from Australia to China are a vivid illustration of the huge challenge of dealing with China's demand for dirty fuels. Courtesy of Bloomberg News via The New York Times

While China is lauded for boosting renewables, its insatiable appetite for ALL forms of energy dillutes the progress the U.S. and other countries are making trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

I argue that until this challenge is addressed and progress is mapped to overcome it (not solved, just mapped), criticisms of clean energy initiatives EVERYwhere else in the world need to pause and weigh the net, minimal, impact their efforts are having in the face of China’s demand for energy. Yes clean energy industries are creating jobs with a clear value amid today’s recession. But overcoming ‘global warming’? We’re all a 2-bit player on the much bigger stage. And the role of other countries is getting smaller — but the hour.

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