Coal and Climate Change: the "Chinese Way" ?
This article, issued after Asia Center and ASEF's international conference on coal issues in China (26th and 27th of June 2014 in Beijing), tackles the challenges the country is facing in restructuring its coal industry, in a context of severe and recurrent air, soil and water pollution outbursts.
With 13% of global reserves, China is now the largest producer of coal, which fuels 80% of its power generation. However, inefficiencies all along the supply chain and transport bottlenecks drive the price of this commodity up in a context of sluggish coal demand, forcing coal companies to import. Meanwhile, more stringent environmental regulations add financial burdens on all actors of the coal industry: hundreds of small and inefficient coal mines are being closed, old ones must be reclaimed, thermal plants have to be upgraded to meet air pollution standards…The restructuring coal industry is betting on vertical integration, implementation of market mechanisms and new technologies to face these challenges, giving foreign companies new business opportunities.