Pressure Resists: China’s Coal Addiction Cuts Both Ways

Coal is one of the dirtiest and most harmful fuels on the planet. It’s a dirty, polluting fuel that has been responsible for countless health problems over the years. Coal is also causing environmental devastation all over the world. China is leading the pack in coal consumption, and this addiction is cutting both ways. Not only are they putting their own citizens at risk by burning tons of coal every day, but China’s coal addiction is also creating serious environmental problems all over the world. We will explore how China’s coal addiction is affecting the world and what you can do to help. Read on to learn about the dangers of China’s coal habit and how you can help stop it before it devastates ecosystems all over the world.

The Negative Impacts of Coal on the Environment

Coal is one of the dirtiest and most polluting sources of energy. It’s also one of the most carbon-intensive, meaning it emits more greenhouse gases when burned than other forms of energy. And that’s not all: coal also causes environmental damage through toxic emissions, land use changes, and air pollution.

In China, where coal is the dominant source of energy, these negative impacts are already costing the country billions of dollars in economic losses each year. That’s why China has been so eager to replace coal with cleaner sources of energy, like renewables. But this transition is proving difficult and expensive due to resistance from powerful coal industries.

China’s addiction to coal is harming both its economy and environment. It’s time for China to finally break free from this dirty habit and protect its people, environment, and future generations.

The Dangers of Coal Mining in China

China is the world’s top coal producer and consumer, using more than a quarter of the world’s total. Despite this dependency, China has been struggling to meet its ever-growing demand for coal. Coal burning in China accounts for over 30% of global emissions, making it one of the most important contributors to climate change.

The environmental costs of coal are clear: air pollution kills over 500,000 people a year in China alone, and coal mining is one of the leading sources of water pollution. Coal mining is harmful to both human and wildlife populations. Coal mines often contain large numbers of equipment that destroys habitats and causes massive dust storms.

Despite these dangers, many Chinese continue to mine coal due to its low cost and widespread availability. The government has responded by trying to increase the use of other energy sources, but this has proved difficult given the country’s reliance on coal. If China were to completely switch to renewables, it would require an enormous investment that many doubt will be made in the near future.

China’s Alternative Energy Sources

China’s coal addiction is cutting both ways, with the country’s reliance on the dirty fuel causing environmental degradation and exacerbating air pollution problems. But China is not only struggling with the health impacts of its coal habit it also suffers from a manufacturing shortfall as a result of falling demand for its exports.

To boost lagging growth, Beijing has been promising to wean itself off coal in favor of alternative energy sources. In 2013, renewable energy accounted for only 9% of China’s overall energy consumption, but that figure is projected to reach 20% by 2020. The switch away from coal poses a major challenge, however: Coal accounts for about 70% of China’s total power generation.

One option for replacing coal is wind power. The country has more than enough wind resources to meet its growing needs, and the installed capacity has tripled over the past five years. Solar power also enjoys considerable support in China the country has more than 10 million solar rooftops and plans to install 40 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity by 2020.

But renewables are not without their challenges in China. Wind and solar installations are intermittent meaning they produce power only when the wind or sun is blowing or shining which can lead to gridlock and blackouts when too much electricity is generated at once. And given that most Chinese homes are fitted with panels that generate little or no income during daylight hours, Beijing is looking into other forms of payment.

The Future of Coal in China

Coal is in trouble in China. In March, the country’s cabinet announced that it would end coal use in furnaces for steel making by 2020, making it the latest government to signal its disapproval of the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. From 2013 to 2017, China’s coal consumption decreased by 3 percent annually on average.

The reasons for this shift are manifold: emissions from coal-fired power plants are blamed for contributing to global climate change; and a slowdown in the Chinese economy has led consumers to switch to alternatives like renewables. But the most important factor may be Beijing’s determination to reduce air pollution, which is responsible for up to 50,000 premature deaths each year.

There are still many questions about how this transition will play out, but one thing is clear, Coal is no longer king in China. The future of coal here rests on two legs: economic viability and environmental sustainability. So far, both seem secure.

China has been heavily investing in renewable energy over the past few years, and this shift is likely to continue. In 2016 alone, solar capacity increased by 37 percent while wind installations surged by more than 60 percent. This is good news not just for the environment but also for economic growth renewables are becoming increasingly cost-efficient as they become more prevalent across industries.

In addition to clean energy investments, China has also been working on improving its recycling infrastructure. In 2015 alone, recycled materials made up 30 percent of total industrial output.

Conclusion

China has been the world’s top coal consumer and producer. As their reliance on the dirty fuel increases, so too does the cost to their environment and economy. Coal fired power plants are a major contributor to air pollution in China one of the leading causes of global warming and they also create large amounts of CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change. In fact, recent reports suggest that China was responsible for more than half of all global CO2 emissions in 2016. At a time when China is trying to address some major environmental issues like air pollution and climate change, it’s clear that coal addiction is cutting both ways hurting not only Chinese citizens but also the planet as a whole.


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