China to Restrict Coal Demand, Output to 3.9 Billion Tons

China, the world’s biggest user and producer of coal, will limit domestic output and consumption of the commodity in the five years through 2015 to reduce pollution and curb reliance on the fuel.

Production and demand will be restricted to about 3.9 billion metric tons a year by 2015, according to a five-year plan for the coal industry released by the National Energy Administration at a briefing in Beijing today. The nation produced about 3.8 billion tons in 2011, according to Helen Lau, a Hong Kong-based analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd.

China, the world’s biggest producer of carbon emissions, will strengthen control of air pollution and take an “active part” in international cooperation to tackle climate change, the National Development and Reform Commission said on March 5. The government aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 17 percent per unit of gross domestic product in its five- year plan through 2015.

“Demand and output growth will definitely slow because of environmental concerns,” David Fang, a director at the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association, said by telephone from Beijing today. “The goals look difficult though, unless the government can substantially reduce economic growth and suppress enough energy-intensive industries,” he said.

The Chinese government is targeting average economic growth of 7 percent a year during the so-called 12th five-year plan, which covers 2011 through 2015. Annual coal demand in the period should expand by at least the same rate, Fang said.

Bloomberg

2 responses to “China to Restrict Coal Demand, Output to 3.9 Billion Tons

  1. They’ve had a very high build rate of coal-fired electricity plants and now they are going to “restrict” coal use? Right.

  2. The U. S. uses about one billion tons of coal per year for a country of 320 million people. China will be matching our per capita coal use now and in the future. You get about 2.4 pounds of carbon dioxide for every pound of coal burned. China has to be producing ten billion tons of carbon dioxide per year against our 6 billion tons. For us to crack down on carbon dioxide output is futile.

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