Thursday, October 23, 2014
A Glimmer of Hope
It's not much and it's not nearly enough but there's a rare glimmer of hope in the report that China's coal consumption has fallen for the first time this century.
It's not much, somewhere between 1-2% is all, but it sure beats the 5-10% annual increases that preceded it.
“The significance is that if the coal consumption growth we have seen in China in the last 10 years went on, we would lose any hope of bringing climate change under control,” said Lauri Myllyvirta at Greenpeace East Asia. “The turnaround now gives a window of opportunity.”
Such a turnaround would potentially have a large impact on the biggest coal exporting countries such as Indonesia and Australia, which have profited from China’s demand for the fuel.
Myllyvirta said the greatest significance of the current drop in coal use was that economic growth had continued at 7.4% at the same time, although that is a lower rate than in recent years. “The Chinese economy is divorcing coal,” he said. By contrast, the tripling of the Chinese economy since 2002 was accompanied by a doubling of coal use.