Interesting article on Chinese coal plants in the New York Times today:
According to the article, Chinese companies are planning to build 1,600 new coal plants, many in other countries. The new plants represent a 43% increase in the world's coal-powered electricity generation. While China is reducing coal use domestically-- many Chinese plants are running far below capacity-- the plethora of new coal plants they're building in other countries far outweighs this. Apparently the goal is to help companies affected by China's own reduction in coal-fired power make money overseas.
The article notes that while Chinese companies are "among the leading renewables companies around the world and play a key role in the dramatic fall of wind and solar power prices,” that these efforts are "driven by narrow concerns over local pollution" and "those concerns seem not to extend elsewhere."
And it's not just China: Japan and Germany are burning more coal to offset the loss of nuclear power generation. Sigh. File this under "be careful what you wish for".
From the article: "The fleet of new coal plants would make it virtually impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris climate accord," In other words, although China may technically adhere to the Paris accords, their own emissions reductions are far outweighed by the thousands of coal plants they're building in other countries.