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China’s coal addiction puts spotlight on its climate ambitions before COP28

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️Driving the news: China's increasing reliance on coal-fired power plants is at odds with its climate ambitions, particularly as the world prepares for COP28
• Despite a pledge to peak CO2 emissions by 2030, China continues to invest heavily in coal power, with significant new capacity added in 2023

🔭 The context: Severe power shortages in 2021 and subsequent energy crunches have heightened China's focus on energy security
• This emphasis has led to a continued expansion in coal power, with local governments approving new projects and viewing coal as a key to energy stability

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: While China leads in solar capacity, coal still dominates its energy consumption, undermining global climate efforts
•  New policies, like the coal capacity compensation mechanism, could either incentivize more coal use or integrate renewables into the energy mix, impacting global carbon emissions

⏭️ What's next: The ongoing tension between China's climate commitments and its pursuit of energy security through coal will be a focal point at COP28
•  China's energy policy decisions will significantly influence its ability to meet CO2 emission targets and affect global climate change efforts

💬 One quote: "Chinese officials view coal as the primary guarantee of energy security" (Anders Hove, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies)

📈 One stat: In the first half of 2023, local governments in China approved 50.4GW of new coal power, and in 2022, construction started on 50GW of coal capacity, six times more than the rest of the world combined

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