China is constructing more coal-based power plants and licensing dozens of new mines, despite assurances from the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter that it was critical about fighting climate change.
China’s 2021-2030 policy plans are under close inspection as the United Nations climate change convention gets underway in Madrid, particularly after a new UN report said the world wants to cut CO2 by 7.6% a year over the last decade to limit temperature rises.
But with the nation’s economic progress at its slowest in almost three decades, industry data in addition to speeches from leaders and trade delegates suggest a willingness to lean on coal for power, mainly in old mining areas.
Beijing vowed this year to show the “highest possible ambition” when reviewing its emissions pledges in 2020, though it didn’t commit to more stringent binding targets. But it surely has constructed 42.9 gigawatts of new coal-fired energy capacity since the start of 2018, with another 121 GW under development.
That compares with 35 GW of coal-fired power added in 2017 and 38 GW in 2016.
Although no net figures can be found, regulators further accepted 40 new mines with around 200 million tonnes of annual capacity in the first three quarters of 2019, in contrast with 25 million tonnes in all of last year.
Major state-owned utilities need to shed as much of a third of their older and less eco-friendly coal-fired capability to scale back debt, according to a government document confirmed by sources. However, even if they go ahead, the cuts might be balanced by newer capability added elsewhere.
In October, Premier Li Keqiang urged energy officers to promote clear mining and coal-fired energy. Ambitious proposals to cap CO2 and fossil fuel use are no longer anticipated to be included in the 2021-2025 five-year plan, researchers stated.