China’s Xi says low-carbon ambitions must not interfere with ‘normal life’

Chinese President Xi Jinping said this week that efforts to lower carbon emissions shouldn’t interfere with “normal life.”

Xi told communist party leaders Monday that “reducing emissions is not about reducing productivity, and it is not about not emitting at all, either” according to The Guardian.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he witnesses the ground-breaking ceremony of a bilateral nuclear energy cooperation project  (Xinhua News Agency)

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“We must stick to the overall planning and ensure energy security, industrial supply chain security and food security at the same time as cutting carbon emissions,” Xi said, adding that low carbon goals will not come at the expense of food security or the “normal life” of ordinary people.

China, the world’s largest source of carbon emissions, said earlier this month that it “stands ready to work with” other countries on climate change but announced no new initiatives and offered no resources. Xi  said it was up to developed countries to provide money and technology.

Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds during the opening session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, May 22, 2020.  (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP)

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China has pledged to pursue “carbon neutral” emissions during its upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in February, which includes powering various sites with renewable energy.

But critics allege that China, which dominates other countries in emissions, is merely engaging in a “sleight-of-hand,” as James Taylor, president of the Heartland Institute, put it. 

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

People walk by a street decoration for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Olympic Sports Center Nov. 24, 2021, in Beijing, China.  (Chen Xiaogen/VCG via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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“China claiming to produce a carbon-neutral Olympics merely highlights the sleight-of-hand of ‘zero-carbon claims,'” Taylor told FOX Business.

China, along with Russia, was glaringly absent from the COP26 climate summit in November, which drew criticism from President Biden.

“The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia, and including not only Russia, but China, basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change,” Biden told reporters. “And there’s a reason why people should be disappointed in that. I found it disappointing myself.”

Fox News’ Samuel Dorman contributed to this report