Caixin
Jan 31, 2019 07:39 PM
ENVIRONMENT

China’s Coal Plants Continue to Pump Millions of Tons of Methane Into the Atmosphere

Miners work in the Wugou coal mine of Hengyuan Group in Huaibei, Anhui province, on June 19. Photo: VCG
Miners work in the Wugou coal mine of Hengyuan Group in Huaibei, Anhui province, on June 19. Photo: VCG

China accounted for 11% to 24% of the global increase in methane gas emissions between 2010 and 2015, according to a report published in Nature Communications on Tuesday.

The study found China’s emissions of the polluting greenhouse gas increased 1.1 million tons each year over the period, suggesting efforts to control emissions from the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal have been fruitless.

The report comes as anxiety grows about countries’ respective abilities to adequately cut emissions to prevent catastrophic effects of climate change that could occur as early as 2030. China has said that it is making efforts to wean itself off coal and is the world’s biggest investor in renewable energy — but in December, researchers anticipated that China’s carbon footprint will have swelled to a record size in 2018.

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