More than 2.2 billion tons in annual coal mining capacity is currently under development, threatening the Paris Agreement targets, environmental think-tank Global Energy Monitor said in a new report.
The report notes that most of this capacity, or some 1.663 billion tons annually, is in the early stages of development and could be canceled, but the rest is already under construction.
“The prospect of a low-carbon transition puts these projects at risk of up to $91 billion USD in stranded assets,” Global Energy Monitor said, adding “But if they proceed, without unprecedented cutbacks in global production over the next decade, proposed capacity could boost supply to over four times a 1.5°C-compliant pathway.”
Stopping so much new coal mining capacity will be a tough job. Most of these projects are hardly in the developed economies of Western Europe or North America.
Last year, China started more coal plants than the rest of the world retired, illustrating how important coal remains even for advanced economies such as the Chinese one.