She said what? Bishop predicts China economy to stop growing by 2030

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In attempt to downplay China climate pledge, Julie Bishop says Chinese economy will stop growing by 2030. Is there anything Abbott govt will not say?

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Of all the dumbest things we’ve heard from the right-wing government of Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, this just about takes the cake.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop, apparently in seeking to downplay the significance of China’s pledge to cut the carbon intensity of the Chinese economy by up to 65 per cent by 2030, and to reach a peak in its emissions before 2030, said this on Wednesday morning:bishopAustralia

“China says its emissions will peak in 2030,” Bishop told Sky News. “Well that coincides with when its economy is likely to peak.”

Say what? Australia’s foreign minister is predicting that the Chinese economy will not grow beyond 2030? Has anyone thought of the implications of this on the world’s economy, and Australia’s own trade? Is the Chinese government aware of this?

Of course, it is absolute nonsense. Bishop, like so many others in the Abbott government, is willing to say anything to maintain the pretense that Australia is not being left behind in the global race to decarbonisation, and to reach an agreement in Paris.

The OECD, for instance, predicts that China’s economy will be growing by at least 3 per cent a year well into the 2030s and 2040s. Australia’s conservative government, however, has a hard time understanding that emissions growth need not equate with economic growth. They do not need to grow together.

The International Energy Agency, in a report last month, said growth in the world economy will not rely on ever greater consumption of fossil fuels, boosting energy security and bringing energy services to the billions who, today, have no such access. That’s bad news, though, for Australia’s coal exports.

Bishop will likely lead the Australian delegation in Paris, and with environment minister Greg Hunt is putting together a proposal for Abbott’s inner sanctum to approve. Australia will likely reveal its own post-2020 target some time in July.

Australia is coming under intense pressure to put some decent numbers on the table. Brazil and the US overnight committed to generating 20 per cent of their energy needs from non-hydro renewables – i.e. wind, solar, and probably geothermal and biomass.

On Thursday, the Climate Change Authority is set to release the final report of its own investigation into Australia’s emissions targets. It has suggested a 30 per cent cut on 2000 levels by 2025, although it seems likely that Australia will fudge this by announcing a cut of between 16 and 25 per cent, but from 2005 levels, when emissions where higher.

The Climate Institute said that if Australia was to match China’s carbon intensity target, it would need to cut emissions by between 35 and 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

TCI chief executive John Connor said that the China pledge is also a floor on its action, not a ceiling, as it is likely that it will reach its emissions peak before then.

“The plans China has announced today, which confirm a historic peaking of its emissions by 2030, or ‘earlier if possible’, are driven by its hard-headed assessment of national interest that an economy dependent on outdated polluting technologies is not good for business, health or energy security.

“For China to meet the targets it outlined today it will need to build clean energy the size of Australia’s entire electricity system, each year for the next 15 years.” But, he said, even though China’s actions so far are ambitious, they’ll need to do more.

Bishop’s French equivalent, Laurent Fabius, the man who will host the Paris talks, had this to say overnight at a UN-sponsored conference in Washington, when he urged remaining countries to submit their pledges as soon as possible:

“When S&P (ratings agency Standard & Poor’s), not only says, but acts in such a way, that there is now a climate risk, with what it means in terms of financial cost, it matters.

“When the oil companies say that is a real problem and we would like carbon pricing. When the largest financial fund in the world, which is Norwegian, decides to abandon its investments in carbon economy, it means that really, things are changing.

“And it’s very important, because apart from the public financing, what will be decisive, it’s the decisions which will be taken directly, either by the companies or by the local authorities, New York, California, in order to have less and less a carbon economy. And it could not have been imagined two years ago.”

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16 Comments
  1. Mike Dill 4 years ago

    She should be worried: If AUS is dependent on China for growth, then AUS will be locked-down as well.
    Better to get out of this trap now. I really would like her to see how dumb her comments are in the longer term.

  2. Dale Rhall 4 years ago

    It seems that the current Australian Federal Government believe that “if you say it then it is true”. The impact of such a statement could be immense. This is just another example of short sighted politics over long term rational understanding.

  3. howardpatr 4 years ago

    Julie Bishop, a lawyer whose ignorance about anthropogenic climate change matches that of her leader, Mad Monk Abbott . Like Abbott, Bishop is fast getting further out of step with most of the considered thinkers from around the world on the issue.

    What fools they will make of Australia in Paris

  4. john 4 years ago

    An announcement will be made in suitably opaque style to claim we are bettering the goals set and will have worlds best practise especially counting all that firewood used in the southern states rather like our first commitment where nothing was done other than claim credit for reducing tree clearing which was done by the states.
    A report will be forthcoming from the wind commissioner which will hold up impending development in that area.
    End result we will have bugger all to show.
    The foreign minister should perhaps be more informed before making economic statements especially about other economies.

  5. Blind Freddy of Cairns 4 years ago

    Well sorry to pop your usual self indulgent ranting, what Bishop was referring to is a US Federal Reserve Study and also other analysts opinions (google it), that Chinese GDP rates are woefully overstated and will slow. The original report said “Trend growth could slow gradually to around 6.5 percent by 2030, or it could break much more sharply to a pace under 1 percent”. Admittedly not stop but slow dramatically. Maybe that has already started, given that they have had a one child policy since 1980, population growth slows and also ages and there will be less demand. That has also already happened in Japan, where BOJ has tried everything to stimulate the economy without much success. What we need is sensible debate about carbon and energy, not sniping and name calling. The coalition is the elected government and they will represent the interests of the majority of people, not the coal miners and not the lefty greenies. After all Abbott wants to stay PM and probably will.

    • Alistair Spong 4 years ago

      Even if you are right , you have completely missed the point . Bishop was making yet another excuse for her government and Australia not to do their fair share.
      The likes of Bernie Fraser , John Hewson and others are not rampant greenies or lefties , yet that they categorically and emphatically implore this government to lift it’s ambition on climate action .
      The only rational reason they are not , is because they are in the hands of the fossil fuel corporates & if you think this isn’t true , I challenge you to state a rational argument to state the case .
      With so many highly accomplished individuals in so many different fields of endeavour saying the same thing , I think you have an impossible task

      • Blind Freddy of Cairns 4 years ago

        Ok here is your rational argument, the majority of coal fired power is from state owned assets. They are not cigar chomping corporates taking your money, they are GOC’s. Unlike Germany, Japan, USA etc, there is a massive surplus of power generation in this country. Checking the AEMO website, power is selling in QLD at $25MW, which is ridiculously low and uneconomic. The RET will add another 33,000 GWh to generation capacity further adding to the surplus. Good you say, maybe if you live in South Australia, but living in QLD will mean that our State government will be stuck with massive asset write downs. Less money for services and infrastructure and the utilities hanging like a millstone around their neck. To avoid the impact of structural change and decarbonisation, what we need is a rationale debate and a longer term plan. Not name calling and emotional blackmail. If you want to make a real difference look at what China and India are planning. Unlike the rest of the world they are not cutting emissions, they will increase them. China roughly by the whole of Australia’s current emissions, every year until 2030. India plans on doubling the use of coal from 500 million tpa to 1 billion tpa. India also plans on using more of its own coal, which compared to Australian coal is much lower calorific value, higher sulphur and ash, which means that it is more polluting. Also John Hewson disagrees with everything Abbott says. I think it’s personal.

        • Alistair Spong 4 years ago

          So Bernie Fraser , the Pope, the whole of the Eu , countless national science academies must also just have personal issues with Abbott ?
          Your the one calling names – lefties greenies etc!
          The rate of decarbonisation of China is far ahead of Australia and India soon will be . Bernie Fraser has made that pretty clear.
          What free market mechanism are you going to use to force India to burn our coal over theirs?
          They seem to have big plans to not burn coal at all , as do many other countries .

        • Hugh Butler 4 years ago

          It is true what you say Blind Freddy. Qld has sunk assets in coal or gas fired assets. We don’t want a bath & some (LNP) wanted to sell them quick. Sensibly.Flog em off before they actually cost to rectify! So simple question. They are sunk. Do they try to offset them by a tax on electricity. Or make a decision to invest in jobs, return on investment AND lower power prices. The consensus is the second option is better from mid & long term models.

  6. matimal 4 years ago

    Good to see prominent Australians pushing back against china. With Chinese apologists like the charmless Kevin Ruud, this is encouraging.

  7. storm 4 years ago

    Norway is a shining example of a country that treated its resource extraction companies, and conversely its citizens, appropriately. How stupid most Australians would feel knowing that the ‘job destroying’ mining tax they voted to repeal was a weak and pale shadow of Norway’s functioning and hugely successful mining royalties system, I believe the effective tax rate is 70% or thereabouts and they have managed to put aside 900 BILLION dollars for the health, happiness and well-being of its citizens. This is what a real democracy looks like people, a government governing for its citizens instead of its biggest and most influential businesses. And I’m confident that the CEO’s and board members would of still been payed more than enough money. How did we allow Australia to become so infected with greed, selfishness and false free market ideals. We need a new government before the Paris summit, lest we look like the idiots they are (deservedly so, we were stupid enough to vote them in)

    • Jacob 4 years ago

      Singapore and Dubai have sovereign wealth funds too.

      They also have government owned airports for the benefit of their citizens.

      Here in AUS, the airports have been privatised by John Howard to show a budget surplus but now we get totally ripped off when flying.

    • Blind Freddy of Cairns 4 years ago

      A 70% tax rate, you must be kidding!? The proof in the folly of the MRRT is that since Abbott ditched it, many resource companies have gone bust, mines are closing and nothing new is starting. Tens of thousands of mining jobs have been lost. Norway is also a complete hypocrite. They made their money from fossil fuels and in fact still are from gas and yet the pot is calling the kettle black. From what I have read, for the grand gesture, they will exit $8 billion of coal investments, which is about 1% of the fund. The less coal means the more gas Norway will sell. We need Abbott and Bishop to go to Paris, tell the truth, negotiate hard and not be like Rudd and Gillard and get all emotional and end up as road kill.

      • storm 4 years ago

        No freddy, not kidding, and norway has some of the lowest public debt and highest wealth per capita. You do realise that all of the tax concessions and subsidies we give the mining industry does nothing to create jobs or help the economy, rather it just goes straight into the pockets of selfish mining magnates who ‘wish australia was more like india’. The only reason why the coal industry is taking such a battering is because the world is waking up to the fact that its completely and utterly unviable as our future source of energy, hence the price is tumbling down. You are rooting for the wrong side of history fred

  8. Michael Rynn 4 years ago

    2030 is about when Limits to Growth predicts irreversible decline in global industrial output. If we are smart about a survivable climate, then carbon emissions need to be declining well before that, like sometime soon now.
    LTG did not model ecological collapse, which is already underway. This is why all predictions and promises about carbon emission targets in 2050 are a big fat stupid insult to our supposed intelligence. They are a joke, our gift to diminishing descendents.

  9. Miles Harding 4 years ago

    It must be Tony’s dogmatic belief that coal and economy are linked.

    I can’t believe that the LNP is agreeing with the Limits To Growth models that predict a convergence of resource availability, energy and pollution occurring some time around 2030.

    In 1972, when the LTG report was released, the world had an option to move the a sustainable state, but this would require huge changes to society. As we know, this didn’t occur and we have been tracking the “standard run” scenario, which predicts a collapse before mid-century.

    In 2012, the Smithsonian hosted a 40th anniversary review symposium (Perspectives on the limits to growth). Denis Meadows confirmed that we are tracking the standard run scenario almost perfectly and that the original model assumptions are still valid, indicating that we are headed for a major disruption before mid-century and that 2030 is likely. One of the other speakers at the symposium, Lester Brown, talked of the limits to agriculture which we are very close to. He was particularly concerned by the exploitation of fossil aquifers, which currently feed nearly a billion people and are mostly depleted, or exhausted, as is the case in Saudi Arabia.

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