Accelerating cuts in coal consumption mean China is on track to post the biggest annual CO2 cut ever seen in any country and has already this year reduced the equivalent of the UK’s total emissions over the same period, analysis by Greenpeace showed on Thursday.
The environmental group’s analysis of government data shows the world’s biggest emitter has continued to make sharp decreases in coal and CO2 output after its coal use fell for the first time this century last year.
It said coal consumption in the first four months of 2015 fell by almost 8% and CO2 emissions by around 5% year-on-year.
Greenpeace say the trend is having a global emissions impact and is beginning to become an example to the world of why countries should act on climate change.
“The drop in emissions from coal shows that the progress made on alternative energy and energy efficiency is beginning to kick in. While some of the drop may be caused by slower GDP growth, the majority is clearly government action to curtail coal use and rebalance the economy,” said John Sauven, head of Greenpeace UK, in a statement.
Beijing has put policies in place to incentivise the building of more renewable energy capacity, improve energy efficiency and rebalance the economy away from energy-intensive industries.
Greenpeace analyses the government’s sometimes inconsistent industrial output, GDP and coal import data to assess coal consumption and CO2 emissions.
The IEA reported global CO2 emissions from the energy sector stalled in 2014, the first time in 40 years that a levelling or drop had not been due to an economic downturn.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org