Craig Kelly’s China Syndrome?

Another Craig Kelly post on China and renewable energy, more misinformation.


Craig Kelly uses a cartoon to infer that China isn’t pulling its weight on combatting climate change, and politicians are unwilling to challenge China.


Craig Kelly’s cartoon misrepresents the facts. Each person in China is emitting half the carbon that each of us in Australia is. China is more active in developing renewables than Australia.

It is the Government in which Mr Kelly was a member for a decade that isn’t pulling its weight.

Mr Kelly’s post

The post was today (19 April 2021) and it looked like this:

I took the liberty of “correcting” this cartoon (above). 🙂

The facts in brief

I have looked at similar allegations before (Is China exempt from emission reduction targets?) so the facts are easily stated.

  1. If the load is going to be shared equitably, all countries should emit similar amounts of carbon per capita.
  2. China’s emissions per capita are half Australia’s. Australia is one of the highest per capita emitters of carbon in the world. On equality grounds, Australia needs to halve its emissions before it should expect China to take action.
  3. Renewable sources supply a greater percentage of China’s power (27%) than renewable sources in Australia (21%).
  4. China has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2060. Australia has made no commitment.
  5. Both countries need to do more to reach net zero emissions, but China is doing better than Australia.


Mr Kelly has made China’s record looks worse by referring to the total numbers, which are large because China is the world’s most populous country.

But each Chinese citizen is contributing half the emissions than each Australian citizen is. The Government, which included Mr Kelly until recently, needs to do far more to combat climate change.

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