China increases coal power capacity, despite climate pledge

A new report by Global Energy Monitor has found that China added 42.9 gigawatts to its coal power capacity from 2018 to 2019.


NSFW    SHANGHAI — A new report by Global Energy Monitor found that China has increased its coal power capacity by 42.9 gigawatts between January of 2018 and June of 2019.

That is enough energy to power 31 million homes, according to the BBC. The report notes that the rest of the world decreased its total coal capacity by 8.1 gigawatts during the same time period.

Researchers involved with the study say China would need to reduce its current coal capacity by over 40 percent, from 1,027 gigawatts to 600 gigawatts or less, by 2030 in order to keep its Paris climate agreement pledge to limit the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C.

The report found that China is constructing 121.3 gigawatts of coal plants and is likely to revive 26.4 gigawatts of other existing coal-related projects that are currently suspended, or a total of 147.7 gigawatts of coal power capacity.

This is almost equivalent to the European Union's existing coal power capacity, which stands at 150 gigawatts.

China continues to finance a quarter of all coal plant projects around the world, in countries such as South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the BBC reports.

China has invested heavily in clean energy, though the country continues to invest in coal power.

Co-author of the study Christine Shearer from Global Energy Monitor, called China's coal power expansion plans "far out of alignment with the Paris Agreement."

Shearer said that China needs to make significant reductions to its coal power capacity instead of continued expansion over the coming decade.
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