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China Orders 300 Million More Tons Of Coal To Prevent Power Shortages

china coal mining

China is stepping up the construction of coal-fired power stations and has ordered an extra 300 million tonnes of the fossil fuel to be mined every year as it apparently contradicts its own climate change commitments.

Beijing approved the construction of 8.63 gigawatts (GW) of coal power in the first quarter of this year, nearly half the amount seen all last year, according to a report from Greenpeace East Asia. [bold, links added]

President Xi last year committed to phasing down coal use from 2026 to tackle China’s position as the world’s biggest emitter by volume of greenhouse gases.

However, climate experts are concerned those targets are undermined by a government focused on economic challenges.

The approval for coal-fired power gathered momentum in the fourth quarter of last year after China began suffering nationwide power shortages, Greenpeace said.

As a result, 11 GW of capacity was approved in the last quarter, from a total of 18.55 GW last year. That momentum has continued into this year, the group said.

China relies on coal for about 60 percent of its electricity and has asked domestic miners to increase capacity by 300 million tonnes this year.

Electricity consumption has surged this summer as China suffers an intense heatwave, with air conditioning cranked up at homes and businesses.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, announced 10 billion yuan (£1.2 billion) of investment in coal power generation in May, as coal producers were pressed to ramp up output.

Read more at The Times

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