China’s original target was to have its carbon emissions peak in 2030, despite having reportedly given the go ahead for five-times as many new coal mines in the first half of 2019 compared with fresh capacity over the previous year
The amount of carbon emissions produced by China is expected to reach its peak in 2022, eight years ahead of schedule, according to a government official. Jiang Kejun of the Energy Research Institute, a unit of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told Reuters this would be achieved even without the introduction of new policies aimed at curbing pollution. The country’s original plan to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 was an integral element of its commitment to the global agreement to combat climate change made at the 2015 Paris Agreement. It is planning the introduction of vast amounts of new renewable energy capacity over the next decade, which will help cut pollution, but is also planning to expand the number of coal plants across the Chinese grid.
China carbon emissions to rise on new coal projects
China has reportedly given the go-ahead for five-times as many new coal mines in the first half of 2019 compared with new capacity over the previous year. Despite plans to gradually wean itself off consumption of the commodity, its energy regulator approved 141m tonnes of new annual production capacity between January and June, as opposed to 25m tonnes over the entirety of 2018.
The approved projects include new facilities in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Shanxi and Shaanxi, while Beijing, specifically, is due to increase its consumption of the commodity despite an ostensible commitment to clearing the smog and pollution plaguing its streets.
Many cities across China suffer as a result of the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, which has prompted the capital to commit to increasing the share of renewables in its specific energy mix to 15% by the end of the year. Yet elsewhere across the country coal output is on the rise, having increased 2.6% over the first six months of 2019 to 1.76bn tonnes. Last month, China State Grid Corporation predicted the total capacity of the commodity would reach up to 1,350GW over the coming years, meaning a potential surge of 300GW.