China lacks coal – and it messes with everyone

Matt Bargar / Flickr

Indonesia has banned the export of coal, which makes (a lot) of difference in China. Chinese promises can now be delayed.

the government of Indonesia announced a measure to try to improve the national economy and energy sector at the national level. But this measure does not only interfere with Indonesia, it goes beyond the local territory. A lot more.

The announcement was made on the 1st of January of this year: coal exports ended. At least temporarily. Coal exports were suspended due to domestic shortages, due to fears of large-scale power outages (although a week later partial exceptions were made).

And that messes with what?

Not far from Indonesia is China, the country that produces more coal on the planet, consumes more, and also imports more coal. And more than half of the coal the Chinese import comes from (came from) Indonesia.

now the The world’s second largest economy is in trouble, stresses Time magazine, which recalls that since 2020, China also receives almost no coal from Australia, after the well-known diplomatic differences between the two countries.

And now, without less coal, energy consumption must change. China’s pledges to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 can be postponed – it was President Xi Jinping who announced this intention in April last year. And there was also the promise of reduce coal use from 2026. But that scenario may be changing, already.

China has fears about security, including energy security, and so it will hesitating when making climate commitments, warned Kevin Tu of the Center for Global Energy at Columbia University.

That is, the combating climate change may have a “brake” considerable because of this announcement in Indonesia.

China must increase the amount of coal it extracts within its territory – it has the fourth largest coal reserve of the world and produced 4.2 billion tons in 2020.

Domestic production will grow. In fact, it has already grown at the end of 2021, as a result of blackouts and the closure of many factories.

“The Chinese authorities will certainly repeat the arguments that they are ensure national energy security and self-sufficiency“, warned analyst Ryan Driskell Tate.

Globally, global energy production from coal rose by 9 percent last year. But experts believe that by 2022, the amount of electricity produced from coal will reach an all-time high.

Thus, the goals of “saving” the climate will be postponed, in this context – the production of electricity from Coal is responsible for about 30 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Nuno Teixeira da Silva, ZAP //


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