Less than four years after China vowed to limit the use of coal and cancelled more than 100 coal power projects, a new study shows the nation — the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter — is back in love with the fossil fuel.
According to the latest report by Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that tracks coal stations, the Asian giant is set to fire up enough coal-based power plants to match the entire capacity of the European Union, which currently sits at 149 gigawatts (GW).
Across the country, 148 GW of coal-fired plants are either being built or are about to begin construction, the study shows. The figure is also higher than the combined 105 gigawatts under construction in the rest of the world, it notes.
While coal’s share of the country’s total energy has fallen from 68% in 2012 to 59% last year, absolute consumption of the fossil fuel has continued to increase in line with a rise in overall local energy demand.
To meet internal needs, the world’s second largest economy has approved new 40 coal mines in the first nine months of this year, while continuing to make use of “green” financing to support coal-related projects.
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