China mocks climate targets as it announced plans to build more coal-fired power plants and ramp up oil and gas exploration just weeks before the COP26 summit.
Beijing’s National Energy Commission said it is important to “build advanced coal-fired power plants” and step up domestic and gas exploration after the country was hit by power outages last week and China would reconsider its emissions targets.
The move will sound the alarm ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in two weeks, and is a major blow to the UK’s plans to reach a global agreement to phase out coal.
China has also ordered its coal mines to increase their annual production capacity to 55.3 million tons. Meanwhile, India has also ramped up its coal production due to supply shortages, causing some utilities to resort to unplanned power cuts.
China is already the world’s biggest polluter, with more than 50% of its energy coming from coal, which is considered the most polluting source.
The country has suffered from widespread power outages that have closed factories and hit manufacturing and global supply chains amid a global energy shortage that has boosted demand for fossil fuels.
The UN has said that if global emissions are not reduced by 50% by 2030, the climate crisis will lead to even greater and more destructive natural disasters, such as floods and droughts. But the chief of a South African mine said he sees demand for coal continuing for two decades.
China plans to build new coal-fired power plants after power outages hit the country last week in a bid to sound the alarm ahead of the COP26 summit at the end of the month (file photo)
Beijing had previously committed to reach peak emissions by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2060 — a target that would entail the closure of more than 600 coal-fired power plants.
But Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang hinted that this commitment could be under discussion as he said Beijing will build more coal-fired power plants as China strives to increase “energy self-sufficiency capacity” and create a “modern energy system.”
Keqiang said: “Energy security should be the starting point on which to build a modern energy system and improve energy self-sufficiency capacity,” the Guardian reported.
Given the predominance of coal in the country’s energy and resource supply, it is important to optimize the layout for coal production capacity, build advanced coal-fired power plants where necessary in line with development needs, and continue phasing out obsolete coal. plant in an orderly manner.
“Domestic oil and gas exploration will be intensified.”
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said officials want to gather new evidence to rethink a roadmap for reaching peak emissions, likely extending the deadline beyond 2030
Keqiang added that officials are looking to gather new evidence to rethink a roadmap for reaching peak emissions, likely extending the deadline beyond 2030.
The prime minister said he had commissioned “in-depth studies and calculations in light of recent electricity and coal supply problems, to propose a phased timetable and roadmap for reaching a peak in carbon emissions”.
It came after power outages last week in cities across China amid a spike in energy demand around the world.
The country was so short of power that cities were hit by power outages and had to close factories or open for only a few hours a week.
The crisis, which started biting 14 days ago, was caused by the price hikes of coal as the economy reopened after Covid, which meant that power plants were running at a loss and began to close.
Power outages were reported in southern Guangdong province, but are most severe in the northeastern manufacturing centers of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.
And another 16 provinces were forced to ration energy due to a shortage of supply, but avoided complete blackouts.
China’s coal mines have been ordered to ramp up production to help reduce the shortage, with progressive blackouts affecting some cities and factories forced to close
In response, Shanxi – China’s largest coal-producing region – ordered its 98 coal mines to increase their annual production capacity by 55.3 million tons and 51 coal mines that had reached their maximum annual production level to continue producing.
In Inner Mongolia, China’s No. 2 coal region, 72 mines were told they could operate at higher capacities immediately, provided they ensure safe production.
It comes amid a wider energy crisis that has led to shortages and soaring prices in Europe, India and China.
In response, India will increase its coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tons per day within a week, after a shortage of supplies has caused some utilities to resort to unplanned power outages, The Statesman reports.
India was about to run out of coal, but government sources said plans for coal-fired coal will hold stock for five days. The sources said that in a month’s time, coal levels will be back to normal levels.
Coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of India’s electricity production and about three quarters of fossil fuel is produced domestically.
India increases its coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tons per day within a week after shortage of supplies – forcing some utilities to resort to unplanned power cuts
As Asia’s third-largest economy recovers from a wave of the coronavirus, heavy monsoon rains have flooded coal mines and disrupted transportation networks, leading to a surge in prices for coal buyers, including power plants.
International coal prices have also risen.
The shortage in India, the world’s second largest coal-consuming country, follows widespread power outages in China that have closed factories and hit manufacturing and global supply chains.
Even before the current energy crisis broke out, the world was lagging far behind in efforts to avert catastrophic climate change.
The United Nations estimates that global emissions will be 16 percent higher in 2030 than in 2010 based on countries’ current commitments.