Target: Li Keqiang, People’s Republic of China’s Chairman of the National Energy Commission and Premier of the State Council
Goal: Urge China to divest from coal energy completely as part of its pivotal position in battling climate change.
Last month, UNICEF reported that by 2040, one in four children may face severe water shortages, due to a combination of climate change and unsustainable water withdrawals. Related, though dissimilar: This month, a scientific report warned that, unless humanity reins in its carbon emissions, and fast, the Earth may revert to a Triassic climate, which prevailed over 200 million years ago, sometime during the 22nd or 23rd century, which would all but assuredly destroy human civilization…
By total carbon emissions, China takes the lead as the world’s biggest global warmer. However, with the retraction of the United States from its climate commitments due to the delusions of the Trump administration, China has also become the world’s leader in the fight against climate change, being the largest developer of renewable energy and carbon capture projects.
Still, the explosive growth of renewable energy has not occurred fast enough to offset China’s addiction to coal, which continues to destroy the health of millions of Chinese citizens and warm the Earth at a breakneck pace. Though China has stated its intention to invest $360 billion USD into renewable power between 2016 and 2020, coal still has a major foothold in the country, with 200 gigawatts of coal-fired power under construction as of April 2016.
China’s continued investment in coal is destroying the planet and, by extension, the human race, which depends on a stable climate in order to thrive. These investments undermine its supposed commitments to renewable energy and, as the world’s emerging leader in the battle against global warming, we demand that the Chinese government immediately cease its investment in coal power.
Such investments are now unneeded given the cost-competitiveness of renewables with coal.
Dear Mr. Keqiang,
By the end of 2014, China’s energy mix consisted of 66% coal. Though China has seen considerable gains in renewable energy since that time, the use of coal in China remains alarmingly high, and is inconsistent with its stated climate goals.
With the withdrawal of the United States from its climate leadership position in 2017, China has become the new world leader in the battle against global warming. In honoring this leadership and its commitment to the Paris Climate Accord, we demand that China completely divest from coal, especially given that renewable energy is now cost-competitive with coal.
Both China and the rest of the world stand to lose everything to climate change. Now is the time to do all that we can to fight it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Herry Lawford