A total of 247 GW of coal power is now in planning or development, nearly 6 times Germany’s entire coal-fired capacity.
China has also proposed additional new coal plants that, if built, would generate 73.5 GW of power, more than 5 times the 13.9 GW proposed in the rest of the world combined.
Last year, Chinese provinces granted construction approval to 47 GW of coal power projects, more than 3 times the capacity permitted in 2019.
China has pledged that its emissions will peak around 2030, but that high-water mark would still mean that the country is generating huge quantities CO2 - 12.9 billion to 14.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually for the next decade, or as much as 15% per year above 2015 levels.
Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, said:
- Dozens of new coal power projects, equal to the total coal power capacity of Germany and Poland combined, were announced last year in China
- Cancelling them would put the country on track to the low-carbon development the leadership says it wants to pursue
- If China keeps doing what it is doing, there is just no way for the rest of the world to make up for that