Energy & Environment

China to reduce its coal use starting in 2026 

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China will begin to reduce its coal use starting in 2026 and “strictly limit” its increase in coal use until then, President Xi Jinping said Thursday.

“We will strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th five-year plan period and phase it down in the 15th five-year plan period,” Xi said during an Earth Day summit hosted by the White House.

China’s 14th five-year plan is from 2021 through 2025 and its 15th plan will go from 2026 through 2030.

Xi also said that the country plans to “strictly control” coal-fired power plant projects.

China is by far the largest consumer of coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. One study showed it generated more than half of the world’s coal-fired power last year.

The country is aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, a decade later than President Biden has said the U.S. will reach its own carbon neutrality goal.

China also plans for its emissions to peak by 2030.

In the U.S., coal consumption is on the decline.

Xi was one of 40 heads of state to participate in the White House’s Earth Day climate summit, which is going on as the Biden administration seeks to push foreign leaders to make stronger climate commitments.

The White House also announced on Thursday that it aims to slash its own emissions 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. 

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