China is investing billions more in three different coal mining projects. This means that the country will continue to use fossil fuels that have been avoided in large parts of the world. China’s National Development Commission plans to invest more than 24 billion yuan (3.3 billion euros) in projects.
With the investment, the Chinese government hopes to prevent a new power shortage like the one that emerged at the end of last year. As a result, parts of the Chinese economy have been stagnant for periods. The shortage was due to the limited supply of coal due to the rapid rise in fuel prices. This led many countries to turn, for example, to gas for electricity generation. However, after gas also became very expensive, coal again became very popular. At the end of last year, Chinese mining activity increased strongly.
The investments should contribute to extracting an additional 19 million tons of coal annually. Two of the three coal mining projects will be in northwestern Shaanxi Province and the other in Mongolia. The projects are likely to be largely financed – about 70 percent – by banks. This contrasts with promises by other banks around the world, which have often promised not to invest in fossil fuels, often through climate agreements.
By 2060 CO2 Neutral
Currently, China is committed to energy security and, unlike other countries, has said that it will not be CO2-neutral until 2060. The Chinese government recently announced its intention to help coal-fired power plants operate at full capacity. But the move raises alarm among environmental organizations about the country’s climate goals.
About two-thirds of China’s electricity is generated from coal. The country accounts for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is much more than emissions from the United States and the European Union. That is why reducing China’s emissions is seen as crucial to achieving the Paris climate goals.
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