SPONSORED:

China accounted for half of coal-fired electricity in 2020: report

China accounted for half of coal-fired electricity in 2020: report
© Getty Images

China accounted for a slight majority of all coal-powered electricity generated in 2020, according to a report released Monday by British research group Ember.

Although China, the world’s top emitter, has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, the report found it was the only Group of 20 nation to see a major increase in coal generation last year. Coal generation dropped or plateaued in all its fellow G20 countries but increased 1.7 percent in China. The country made up 53 percent of coal-powered electricity worldwide in 2020, 9 points higher than its 2015 share.

“The transition towards a low-carbon electricity system is a mainstay of China’s bid to become carbon neutral by the mid-century. Making the country’s growth of electricity demand more sustainable is critical for facilitating this transition,” Ember senior electricity policy analyst Muyi Yang said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“For this, China needs to drive electricity consumption to be more efficient, to further promote ‘high-quality’ economic growth, and to deepen electricity pricing reform, aimed at making electricity prices more cost-reflective,” he added.

However, the report also found China has made comparable progress to the worldwide average in transitioning to wind and solar energy. Wind and solar gained 6 percent in market share compared to coal, while they saw higher gains of more than 10 percent in the U.K. and Germany, according to the report.

The country reduced coal’s share of overall energy consumption from around 70 percent to 57 percent over the course of the last decade, but the report indicated absolute coal-powered electricity generation increased about 19 percent between 2016 and 2020.

U.S. Climate Envoy John KerryJohn KerryBeware language and the art of manipulation Budowsky: President Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize Bishops to debate banning communion for president MORE has said meaningful cooperation with China and other major emitters is “absolutely essential” for the U.S. to meet national and international emissions targets, saying last week that “we don’t know yet” the extent to which the country will be willing to partner with the U.S. President Xi Jinping is one of 40 world leaders the White House has invited to its climate summit in late April.