Tatang Coal Power Plant on November 15, 2021 in Zhangjiajie, Hebei Province, China.
Despite Beijing’s promise to reduce carbon emissions, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that China will increase its coal use this year to support the economic recovery from power shortages.
Last summer, the country faced the full burden of rising global prices for raw materials, on which China relies 60% to supply its power plants, especially coal.
This has pushed power plants to idle, despite strong demand, and led to a drop in electricity rates, which has boosted production costs for businesses.
Consequently the situation is stable.
New China, the official news agency, quoted the Chinese prime minister as saying on Tuesday that energy security “must be protected.”
“Coal supply will be increased and coal-fired power plants will be able to operate at full capacity to generate more electricity,” Lee Keqiang said in the minutes of the economic situation meeting.
No measured target was given.
To ease the pressure, authorities have already given permission in recent months to reopen coal mines.
“We are returning to a model (growth) that supports the economy at all costs,” Li Shuo of Greenpeace China told AFP.
“China is wasting time and delaying decisive climate action,” Li said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised to begin reducing his country’s carbon emissions by 2030.
China is the largest investor in clean energy in the world. But the Asian giant continues to be the world’s leading coal producer and the world’s leading polluter.
Coal consumption in China increased again last year (+ 4.7% year-on-year), according to official figures.
LNT with Afp