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Climate Change

China's addiction to coal clashes with carbon neutrality pledge

New plant construction exceeded shutdowns by 30 GW last year

A coal-fired power plant in China's Gansu Province began commercial operations in November. (Photo from plant operator's website)

BEIJING/TOKYO -- China's inability to crack its dependence on coal power threatens to undermine the country's pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Last year, China built enough coal-fired power plants to provide 38.4 gigawatts of electricity, data from U.S. think tank Global Energy Monitor shows, far surpassing the 8.6 GW from plants that were retired. This net gain in capacity, the equivalent of 30 nuclear facilities, suggests that coal will remain king in China for the foreseeable future.

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