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China falls off Paris Agreement pace with increasing coal use: analysts


China’s coal use set to rise until 2026, pushing world’s top carbon emitter ‘off track’ from Paris Agreement: analysts

Beijing’s pledge to phase down coal use starting in 2026 appears in jeopardy amid a building spree for new coal plants, energy analysts sayCoal consumption will only begin to decline after 2027 as renewables such as wind and solar energy take over, according to Rystad EnergyBusiness of climate changeYujie Xuein ShenzhenPublished: 6:00am, 20 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

China’s continued reliance on coal-fired electricity plants is pushing the country “off track” from the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to energy analysts.The world’s largest energy consumer, China will increase its coal consumption until 2026 and will only record declines after 2027 as renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy take a larger share of power generation, according to a report from researcher Rystad Energy.

China’s rapid additions of new coal-fired power plants and its lack of a coal phase-out plan are responsible for it falling behind the Paris Agreement pace, despite the country’s record buildout of renewable energy, according to a report released by Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute on Tuesday.

“While the global coal pipeline outside of China is shrinking, China’s coal plant permitting spree is a cause for concern,” the report said. “If it continues, the only way to avoid a major increase in emissions would be to drastically cut power plant utilisation.”

Coal, the most emissions-intensive fossil fuel, currently meets more than half of the energy needs in China, which is the world’s largest greenhouse-gas emitter and the world’s largest consumer, producer, and importer of coal. China’s coal consumption increased 3.3 per cent in the past five years to around 4.04 billion tonnes last year, according to data from Rystad Energy.

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