Why you needn’t worry too much about China’s mania for coal
Sure, it’s building new power stations at a terrifying rate, but that doesn’t mean all hope for the planet is lost
No further coal plants should be built anywhere in the world ever again. The great majority of existing plants should be phased out within 15 years. That is the message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as delegates descend on Madrid for next week’s COP25.
There is no chance of keeping CO2 emissions below critical thresholds and preventing runaway climate change if this does not happen. So one might justifiably be aggrieved by news that China is engaged in a huge – if surreptitious – expansion of its coal power fleet in breach of earlier pledges, taking advantage of climate denialism in the White House to raid the global commons.
Xi Jinping’s industrial machine accounts for half the world’s coal consumption. He is now adding a large coal plant every two weeks...