China has ‘no other choice’ but to rely on coal power for now


A coal fired power plant in Jiayuguan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BEIJING — China has ambitious goals for cutting its carbon emissions, but it won’t be abandoning coal power anytime soon as it keeps its eye firmly on economic targets.

President Xi Jinping said in September that the country’s carbon emissions would begin to decline by 2030, and he said the country will reach carbon neutrality by 2060 — in four decades.

In the meantime, policymakers are making clear that economic growth remains a top priority — and that growth depends largely on coal power. Beijing has a GDP target of 6% this year, a level which analysts say…


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