Record figures in coal-fired power generation, with China and india in the lead
According to the International Energy Agency, the global figure is set to rise by 9% this year, threatening climate change targets. Delhi had promised to reduce harmful emissions by 2070; Beijing by 2060: insufficient commitments, which remain words on paper.
Paris (AsiaNews) - Electricity generated by coal-fired power plants will reach an all-time high this year, with India and China the biggest contributors, according to a study published yesterday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The report states that the figure marks a setback in efforts to reduce polluting emissions and halt climate change. By the end of the year, 10,350 terawatt-hours of electricity will be produced worldwide using coal, a 9% increase over 2020. The Iea estimates that this level will be maintained over the next two years.
China and India account for two-thirds of global coal demand. With the recovery from the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, China's electricity production from coal-fired plants will rise by 9% in 2021; India's will rise by 12%.
Since the beginning of the year, the price of coal has more than doubled from USD 81 per tonne in January to USD 168 per tonne today. The surge is due to a combination of increased demand and lower production in countries affected by natural disasters such as India and Indonesia. The scarcity of the raw material led to a serious energy crisis in China, with the government forced to reactivate domestic production to avoid continuous power cuts.
The global figures, especially those from China and India, cast doubt on the commitments made by governments at the recent Cop26 meeting on combating climate change. Delhi has promised to achieve zero harmful emissions by 2070, Beijing by 2060: two targets that are already insufficient and seem unattainable at current levels of coal consumption.