Chinese government to help run coal power plants at full capacity

China will help its coal-fired power plants run at full capacity, the government has announced, raising further alarm about the fate of Beijing’s climate pledges.

It was decided in the Monday meeting that “coal supply will be increased and coal-fired power plants will be supported in running at full capacity and generating more electricity” to meet industrial and residential demand.

The move comes weeks after President Xi Jinping told top policymakers to ensure that emissions reductions do not hurt economic growth and energy security.

Following the energy crunch last year, China reopened dozens of coal mines and scrapped production quotas, unravelling earlier steps to curb emissions.

The country’s coal output hit a record of over four billion metric tons last year—the highest in a decade.

Two-thirds of China’s economy is fuelled by coal, and it generates an estimated 29% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, double the US share and three times that of the European Union.

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