China ‘must shut 600 coal-fired plants’ to hit climate target

(The Guardian, 15 Apr 2021) Move towards renewables to hit net zero by 2060 would also pay off with saving of $1.6tn, analysis finds.

China must shut down nearly 600 of its coal-fired power plants in the next 10 years, replacing them with renewable electricity generation, to meet its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, a report has said.

But replacing the 364GW of coal generation with renewable power would achieve a net saving of $1.6tn (£1.2tn) over the period, since wind and solar power are now much cheaper than coal, according to the analysis company TransitionZero.

The coal consumption of China, the world’s biggest emitter, is of global concern. The country has ramped up plans for new coal-fired power stations in an effort to spur economic growth after the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last September the country’s president, Xi Jinping, surprised the world by pledging that China would achieve net zero emissions by 2060, and that its emissions would peak before 2030.

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The Guardian, 15 Apr 2021: China ‘must shut 600 coal-fired plants’ to hit climate target