In the midst of a COP, China is increasing its coal production

China has increased its daily coal production by more than 1 million tonnes amid a power shortage, as world leaders bitterly negotiate a deal at COP26 to spare the planet from ‘catastrophic’ global warming .

In the midst of a global economic recovery, China is suffering the full brunt of the soaring cost of raw materials, in particular coal, on which the Asian giant depends 60% to power its power plants.

This situation pushes power plants to idle, despite strong demand, leading to rationing of electricity and pushing up production costs for companies.

To ease the pressure, the authorities have authorized the reopening of coal mines in recent weeks. The move is in contradiction with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to start reducing his country’s carbon emissions before 2030.

Since mid-October, daily coal production has exceeded 11.5 million tonnes, the powerful planning agency NDRC said on Sunday. This represents a capacity increase of 1.1 million tonnes compared to the end of September.

Last month, the NDRC did not rule out intervening to lower coal prices.

The agency “will use all necessary means […] to bring coal prices back within a reasonable range, ”she announced without however specifying the avenues envisaged.

The rise in production comes as world leaders try to agree in Glasgow on a more ambitious global target for greenhouse gas reductions at the UN conference on climate, COP26.

The Chinese president is among the major absentees from this meeting, to which he addressed by way of a written speech.

His country is both the world’s largest producer of coal and the world’s largest polluter. China is, however, the country that invests the most in clean energy.

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