A few weeks after COP26, which took place in Glasgow, China announced record coal production for 2021. While the current emergency linked to climate change should logically sign the end of coal, this fossil fuel does not is thus not ready to disappear.
An increase of 4.7% compared to 2020
The recent COP26 in Glasgow failed to reach an agreement on a possible commitment that could lead to the abandonment of coal. Worse still, China recently announced a production record for the year 2021, as explained by the media China Economy Daily. If the reputation of China having by far the largest coal reserves in the world is unfounded, this country remains the world’s leading producer in this field. It has thus once again proven its leadership with a production of 4.07 billion tonnes of coal in 2021, a real record. This quantity is even higher than that of 2020 with an increase of 4.7%.
Chinese authorities have said that players in this sector have worked hard to “ensure the security of electricity supply and heating” as well as price stability. The argument put forward is none other than the protection of the Chinese population during the winter.
China is not the only bad student
However, China had promised a few months ago to achieve its objectives in terms of limiting CO2 emissions. Local authorities had insisted on this point, despite soaring energy prices and the presence of significant electricity shortages in some of the country’s provinces. However, it should also be noted that the coal sector is of crucial economic importance for China. Let us also mention the presence of growing corruption that the government says it is fighting through numerous campaigns aimed at the population.
If China is very often associated with coal, it is obviously not the only country to distinguish itself for its wanderings. In 2018, Japan, for example, decided to turn to this fossil fuel, a choice partly dictated by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 and the country’s low interest in renewable energies. We should also mention Australia which, under the influence of a conservative and liberal policy, refused to align itself with a carbon neutrality objective and will thus continue to exploit coal on a large scale.