China responsible for 46 percent of global coal consumption

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
January 30, 2013



Chart courtesy of U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics.
Chart courtesy of U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics.

A new chart by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows how China's coal habit has grown to such an extent it now accounts for 46.9 percent of the world's consumption. In 2011 coal consumption hit 3.8 billion tons in China, making up nearly half the world's coal use of 8.1 billion tons. Coal comes with a number of environmental issues—including toxic air and water pollution—but the most pressing globally is climate change.

Burning coal is the world's most carbon intensive energy source. In fact, this single energy source accounts for around one third of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. But even as international calls to stem climate change have grown louder, coal-use is booming in China. In 2011, coal consumption jumped 9 percent. Last year, a report found an addition 363 coal-fired plants under proposal in China.

China jumped past the U.S. as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2006, however the U.S. still remains the largest emitter historically. Neither the U.S. or China has comprehensive legislation in place to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

In a recent report the International Energy Agency warned that two-thirds of the world's known fossil fuel deposits must stay in the ground, if the world is have even a fifty-fifty chance of keeping global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius. Scientists say rising above this threshold would likely lead to catastrophic climate change, and the world nations—including China and the U.S.—have pledged to keep global temperatures below this level.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (January 30, 2013).

China responsible for 46 percent of global coal consumption .

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0130-hance-coal-china.html