China’s coal consumption could start to drop by 2020

China’s coal consumption could start to drop by 2020. This plan, which sets out the blueprint for Chinese policies between 2016 and 2020, will cover a crucial period in the world of climate change politics, according to a report published by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

Not only will it exert a powerful influence over China’s domestic policies over the next decade, it will cover the period over which the UN hopes to finalise an international treaty on climate change.

As the world’s largest coal consumer and emitter of carbon dioxide, the Beijing government’s policies have a significant impact on the global effort to limit climate change.

Growth of coal is already starting to slow. Figures released in April by the China Coal Industry Association showed that coal production had dropped 1.31% year on year.

UN agreement

On Saturday, a high-level agreement between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) chief Achim Steiner showed again that China appears to be serious about cutting its emissions.

Premier Li said, “China would like to continue to collaborate with UNEP to enhance green development and sustainable environmental management.  China has contributed US $6 million to the UNEP trust fund and will continue to make contributions to that fund into the future.

Steiner said,  “This new agreement sends another powerful message that China is committed to combating climate change, not only within its own borders, but across the Global South – and that  in doing so, it can count on UNEP’s unflagging support.”