China continues coal spree despite climate goals

China is approving new coal power projects at the equivalent of two plants every week.

In 2022 the government approved a record-breaking 106 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity. One gigawatt is the equivalent of a large coal power plant.

This run of approvals is continuing, potentially on track to break last year’s record, according to analysis.

It said in the first half of 2023, authorities granted approvals for 52GW of new coal power, began construction on 37GW of new coal power, announced 41GW-worth of new projects, and revived 8GW of previously shelved projects. It said about half of the plants permitted in 2022 had started construction by summer.