China fails to reduce its methane coal mine emissions


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Surprise, surprise! Using satellite data, a new study has now shown that China has not only failed to reduce its methane coal mine emissions, it has allowed those emissions to increase.

China, already the world’s leading emitter of human-caused greenhouse gases, continues to pump increasing amounts of climate-changing methane into the atmosphere despite tough new regulations on gas releases from its coal mines, a study shows.

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, which accounts for approximately 72 percent of the country’s electricity generation. While data show that coal production has increased in China, it has been unclear until now much methane gas, or CH4, has increased. Methane that is released during coal mining is responsible for the majority of coal-related CH4 emissions and is likely the largest human-caused CH4 source in China.

“Our study indicates that, at least in terms of methane emissions, China’s government is talking the talk, but has not been able to walk the walk,” says Scot Miller, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering and of earth and planetary sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

The truth is that while China might say it has imposed “tough new regulations,” its commitment under the Paris climate accords actually allowed it to increase its emissions significantly for years to come, even as those same accords required the U.S. to decrease its emissions. This unfair situation, which China has apparently taking full advantage of, is one of the major reasons Trump dumped the accords. It also illustrates how little the Paris Accords had to do with climate change. Its real goal was to shift the balance of power and wealth from the U.S. to other countries.

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8 comments

  • John

    Evidently the paris people want them to flare the methane for electricity which turns it into…..CARBON DIOXIDE!

    But…But..carbon?

    I’m sure China is fully funding the paris people for their leading production of carbon, I mean methane, whatever. I’m sure it wasn’t just US carbon that was billable.

  • MDN

    All due respect, the Paris Accords were not a treaty. If it had been, and the Obama administration had mustered the 2/3 senate approval that a treaty requires, then Trump would have had a much more challenging path to getting us out. As a simple “Executive Agreement” however he was able to nullify it using the same means.

  • MDN: Good point. I have revised the post to replace the word “treaty.”

  • Chris Lopes

    Yep, live by the pen and phone, die by the pen and phone.

  • Phill O

    We have in our NM HOA, those who want to rule people’s lives through regulation they have absolutely no power to enforce. So be it with the Paris accord. The French politicians thought that the accord would make it easy to place a carbon tax on the French. Guess again. Too bad the Canadians put up with the carbon tax; to the great detriment to the Canadian economy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good the the USA has an tough president. Other adjectives come to mind but those traits are needed; as I have argued for some time.

  • Col Beausabre

    1. China produces about eleven times as much coal as the US
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coal_production
    2. China is the biggest importer of coal in the world
    https://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?product=coal&graph=imports&display=rank
    3, Shouldn’t the environmental costs of coal production be charged to the user, not the producer (the biggest destination for US coal is Europe and imports are almost negligible) ?

  • Phill O

    Personally, I do not worry about greenhouse gasses. To do so would put credence to a lie!

  • Edward

    Phill O wrote: “Personally, I do not worry about greenhouse gasses. To do so would put credence to a lie!

    Despite all the talk, very few people worry about greenhouse gasses, otherwise they would stop using powered transportation, using power in their homes and workplaces, and buying goods that required power to make or transport.

    Despite their apparent efforts against greenhouse gasses, very few world leaders worry about them either. Otherwise they would have done more in their various agreements and accords to prevent China, India, and other countries from being allowed to continue spewing greenhouse gasses, and they would have done more to require Brazil and other countries from burning down their rain forests.

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