In the opening address at the 20th National Congress, Xi said, “We will advance the clean and low-carbon transition in the industry, building, transportation, and other sectors by promoting the use of clean, low-carbon, and high-efficiency energy. We will progress the energy revolution significantly. Greater efforts will be made to discover and produce petroleum, while coal will be used in a cleaner and more effective manner,”Hong Kong Post reported.
This statement shows that Xi is trying to make changes in its gas emission. This one reference to coal serves as a reminder that prior attempts to lessen China’s reliance on coal were unworkable.
However, it is hinted that deviation from those plans won’t matter much because coal consumption will get “cleaner and more efficient” going forward, according to Hong kong Post.
Xi has given several recommendations on future energy policy. He also said that they will pursue programmes to attain peak carbon emissions in a planned and gradual approach in keeping with the idea of constructing the new before discarding the old. Here he referred to China’s abundance of energy and resources.
Xi has talked about various things including carbon emissions but still in one reference to climate change in a 72-page report that has significant implications for his party, his people, and most definitely the outside world, President said, “We will get actively involved in global governance in response to climate change.”
In reality, China is already “engaged in global governance” on climate change concerns thanks to the influence it has garnered throughout the UN, rendering Xi’s claim at best untrue, reported Hong Kong Post.
This is not to imply that Xi has avoided making grand promises in any manner in his repeated allusions to China’s energy strategy for the future.
He actually addresses a variety of energy-related issues. There will be “planning and development of a system for new energy sources.” Nuclear power will be produced in an “active, safe, and orderly way,” while hydropower development will be balanced with ecological preservation.
Along with this, Xi pledged to “accelerate the R&D, promotion, and application of advanced energy-saving and carbon emission reduction technologies, encourage green consumption and promote green and low-carbon ways of production and life,” all the while “better controlling the amount and intensity of energy consumption, particularly of fossil fuels, and transition gradually toward controlling both the amount and intensity of carbon emissions,” according to Hong Kong Post.
Given that Xi Jinping was recently elected to a third term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and is almost certainly going to be re-elected as president of China in March 2023, his support for coal solidifies coal’s position as a major component of China’s energy production mix for at least the foreseeable future.