A recent report indicates that China is looking to build more coal-fired power plants and is reconsidering plans to cut emissions which comes as a substantial setback to the UK's attempt to obtain a worldwide coal phase-out agreement at the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.
After Beijing's National Energy Commission meeting, Chinese premier Li Keqiang commented on the importance of the continuous supply of energy. This comes as the country was shrouded in darkness due to blackouts that impacted companies and residences.
However, China has also declared plans to attain peak carbon emissions by 2030, although the statement highlighted that the Communist Party had rethought the judgement of this goal, with a new "phased schedule and roadmap for peaking carbon emissions" as a result of the energy crisis.
For the record, China had earlier announced its plans to be carbon neutral by 2060, with emissions peaking by 2030. According to experts, this is the goal that would involve closing 600 coal-fired power plants. Furthermore, President Xi Jinping had vowed to stop developing coal plants overseas.
Sources cite that a contemporary energy system should be established on the foundation of energy security, and the capacity for energy self-supply should be increased.
Given the significance of coal in the country's energy and resource heritage, it's critical to optimize coal production capacity layouts, build advanced coal-fired power plants as needed to meet development demands, and phase down old coal plants in a systematic manner.
Concerns over China's coal aspirations come as the International Energy Agency prepares to release its annual world energy outlook, which states that much more effort is needed internationally if the world needs to reach net-zero by 2050.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that meeting the objective would require a rapid drop in the quantity of coal used to generate power.