China has increased its daily coal production to over 1 million tonnes per day. This comes as world leaders gather in Britain to discuss climate change, which is seen as one of the last chance for averting catastrophic global warming.

But in a blow to the Cop26 summit, China’s president Xi Jinping will not even give a ‘virtual’ speech in Glasgow, instead only submitting a written statement. 

The world’s largest importer of coal has suffered widespread power cuts in recent weeks, particularly in its industrialized northeast. These have disrupted supply chains due to strict emissions targets as well as record prices for the fossil fuel.

According to a statement by China’s top economic planning agency, Monday night, the crisis is slowly receding due to an increase in domestic coal production. 

China said it has increased daily coal production by over one million tonnes, easing its energy shortage as world leaders gather in Britain for climate talks in Glasgow for Cop26. Pictured: An excavator loads coal into a truck at an open-pit coal mine on October 19, in Inner Mongolia, October 19 (file photo)

China claims it has increased its daily coal production by more that one million tonnes. This is as world leaders gather at Cop26 in Britain to discuss climate issues. Pictured: An excavator loads coal onto a truck at an open pit coal mine in Inner Mongolia on October 19, (file photo).

China’s National Development and Reform Commission reported that the average daily coal production rose to over 11.5 million tonnes from the middle of October, an increase of 1.1 million tonnes over September.

The production surge is occurring as world leaders – not Jinping – gather in Glasgow to discuss Cop26, which aims to increase global greenhouse gas emissions.

Xi, whose country emits the most planet-heating gases in the world has submitted a written statement instead.  

China’s energy crisis also forced them to take other drastic measures. Radio Free Asia (RFA), for instance, reported that China is ignoring UN sanctions and buying coal from North Korea.  

RFA reported that North Korean companies were smuggling the fuel on small ships and offloading at sea, despite a UN ban in 2017 on North Korean coal exports, to limit its sources of funds for its nuclear weapons programme. 

The coal-smuggling trading companies are run by powerful North Korean government organisations, RFA reported, citing a trade official from North Pyongan. 

Numerous factories in China were forced to stop operations by power outages in recent months, raising concerns about global supply chains.

The squeeze was also exacerbated by Beijing’s zero-tolerance Covid-19 policies, which saw it close its borders to the outside world and hinder shipments of raw material from overseas.

An Australian trade dispute also contributed to the increase in coal imports.

In late October, however, the daily output reached 11.72 million tonnes. This is a record in recent times.

One large coal mining firm in northern Shanxi province stated to CCTV that it was operating at 100% capacity to ensure supplies.

Wang Yonggang, the Communist Party secretary at the mines, stated that the original production plan was designed to allow for a 30,000-tonne per monthly increase.

Spot prices for the fuel are also falling fast’, according to the NDRC.

Pictured: World Leaders - minus China's president Xi Jinping - pose for a group photo during an evening reception for the attending Heads of State and Government, to mark the opening day of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow

Pictured: World Leaders minus China’s president Xi Jinping pose together for a group shot during an evening reception to celebrate the opening day at the Cop26 Climate Summit in Glasgow.

A sales representative from another mining company told the broadcaster that the factory price had been reduced. 

Spot prices for the fuel are also falling fast, with the main contract for thermal coke halving to 970 Yuan per tonne in the past eight days.

The agency stated that the agency also noted that the coal storage levels have risen rapidly in tandem with the improvement of the supply-demand environment.

China gets about 60% of its energy from coal. 

Beijing submitted a new climate plan to United Nations days prior to the COP26 summit. It confirmed its goal to reach carbon neutrality before 2060, and to reduce its emissions intensity – the amount per unit of economic output – by more that 65 percent.

In China’s absence, world leaders – including Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau – met on Monday night for the biggest gathering of Government representatives since the birth of the United Nations – ahead of the last ‘full’ day of the COP26 summit. 

The leaders were in good spirits and put aside their differences. They capped off the first conference day at COP26 with a lavish royal reception at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

During the night, Britain’s Prime Minister, who hosted it at the newly renovated gallery, said that the summit was a quite extraordinary historic event’ and that there was a grave threat to the planet and civilisation.

Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the 16th G20 Leaders' Summit via video link in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 31, 2021. The leader will not be attending Cop26

Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit via video link in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 31, 2021. Cop26 is not the place for this leader.

He also hailed Prince Charles, calling him “the man to defuse a bomb at the world’s moment of danger” and calling him a “prophet with no honour”.

His comments came as world leaders prepared for a day make-or-break day negotiations during what will be the final day of the climate change conference for many of them – with leaders leaving delegates behind to negotiate on their behalf.

The Queen opened the lavish reception and exhorted world leaders to earn a space in history’ as well as ‘answer the call from those future generations’ in a passionate speech.

Johnson’s remarks came after President Biden apologized for Donald Trump’s departure from the Paris Climate Accord. He pledged that the U.S. would increase its financial stake fighting climate change. He said that the biggest producers of it should be its largest investors in its fix.

The multibillion-dollar pledge by world leaders to end deforestation in 2030 will be made Tuesday. However, campaigners want to see action sooner to save our planet’s lungs.

The British government hosts the summit. According to them, the pledge is backed with almost $20 billion in public funding and private funding. It is supported by more than 100 leaders from over 85 percent of the world’s forests, including the Amazon rainforest and Canada’s northern boreal forest.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends an evening reception to mark the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference (Cop26), in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minister, attends an evening reception marking the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference (Cop26), Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 1, 2021

Johnson stated that the agreement on deforestation was crucial to the overall goal of limiting temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

According to Downing Street: “These great teeming ecologys – these cathedrals in nature – are the lungs for our planet,” he was expected at Glasgow.

‘Forests are essential to our survival. They support communities, livelihoods, food supply, and absorb carbon we put into the atmosphere. Johnson, who is the summit’s chair, stated that forests are essential for our very survival.

“We will have a chance today (Tuesday) to end the long history of humanity as nature’s conqueror and instead become its custodian.”

Signatories include Brazil (which has been identified for accelerating deforestation on their territories), as well as the United States of America, China, Australia, France, and Australia.

Brazil’s government, which has been widely criticised for its environmental policies announced Monday at the summit that it would reduce 2005-level greenhouse gas emission by half by 2030, up from its previous pledge of 43%.

Joaquim Liete, Environment Minister, stated that “We are presenting an ambitious new climate goal,” in a message from Brasilia to Glasgow.

Picturd: The Wujing Coal-Electricity Power Station in Shanghai, September 28. China has battled widespread power cuts in recent months that have disrupted supply chains, due to strict emissions targets and record prices for the fossil fuel

Picturd: The Wujing Coal-Electricity Power Station in Shanghai, September 28. China has battled widespread power cuts in recent months that have disrupted supply chains, due to strict emissions targets and record prices for the fossil fuel

Leite also stated that Brazil would strive to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050. 

Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, announced a goal of net-zero emission by 2070.

India’s willingness to sign was eagerly awaited as the South Asian giant is fourth largest emitter.

Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist, urged leaders gathered for COP26 not to continue their ‘blah blah blah blah’ during a demonstration at Glasgow.

Nearly 25% of all carbon dioxide man-made emissions can be attributed directly to land use activities like logging, deforestation, and farming.

Joko Widodo from resource-rich Indonesia stated that his archipelago’s mangroves, forests, seas, and peatlands are key to limiting climate changes.

In a UK government statement, he stated that ‘We are committed towards protecting these critical carbon sinks as well as our natural capital for the future generations’. 

The summit pledge to “halt and reverse deforestation of land degradation by 2030” includes promises to protect the rights and responsibilities of indigenous peoples and to recognize their role as forest guardians.

Aerial view of coal mining machines working at an open-pit coal mine on October 19, 2021 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China

Aerial view of the coal mining machines at work in an open-pit coal mine, October 19, 2021, Ordos (Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region).

Johnson called the pledge ‘unprecedented’. However, in 2014, a UN climate meeting in New York made a similar declaration to reduce deforestation by half by 2020 and eliminate it by 2030.

However, trees are still being cut on an industrial scale, especially in the Amazon, where they are being done by the far-right government of Brazilian President Jairbolsonaro.

Humans have already reduced half of Earth’s forests. This is a double-dangerous practice for the climate, as CO2-sucking trees can be replaced by livestock or monoculture crops.

Greenpeace criticized the Glasgow initiative for allowing ‘another decade’ of deforestation.

“Indigenous peoples are calling to protect 80 percent of Amazon by 2025, and that’s what they’re right about,’ stated Carolina Pasquali, Greenpeace Brazil executive director.

She stated that ‘The climate, and the natural world cannot afford this deal.’

Numerous studies have shown that forests can be best protected if they are managed by locals who have generations of preservation knowledge.

The announcement comes a day after Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, exhorted the assembled leaders to act to save mankind.

He said, “It is time to say: enough.”

“Enough with the brutalization of biodiversity. We must stop destroying ourselves with carbon. We should stop burning, drilling, and mining our way to deeper. We are digging ourselves into our own graves.

Johnson, Summit host, warned that the anger of the younger generations would be uncontrollable if leaders fail climate change action.

The UN COP26 conference continues for two more weeks. It will help countries create plans to mitigate the most severe effects of global climate change.