A chart posted Tuesday shows just how little wind and solar energy China will use despite its pledge to President Barack Obama to peak its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the next 14 years.
A UK-based global warming researcher posted the chart showing China plans to triple wind power capacity and greatly expand solar power by 2030 to comply with the pledge. This amount of new energy, however, pales in comparison to the amount of electricity the country plans to get from coal. Of the 2,400 coal-fired power plants under construction or being planned around the world, 1,171 will be built in China. This rapid growth of coal power overseas means that, mathematically, Chinese CO2 emissions are unlikely to stop rising.
China has pledged since 2014 to stop its CO2 emissions from rising by 2030 and then to get the emissions to gradually fall. The country reiterated that promise last June. China’s pledge made it much easier for Obama to secure the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change in Paris last December. Despite the pledge, China continues to build numerous new coal power plants, which would make their promise effectively impossible to keep.
Consumption of coal in China has already grown by a factor of three from 2000 to 2013. The country consumes approximately half of all coal used worldwide and gets roughly 66 percent of its electricity from coal, according to the Energy Information Administration.