China cuts its coal imports by almost half in 12 months

China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter. It has also been the biggest consumer of coal so far. The news that China’s imports of coal dropped by 42% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year should prick up everybody’s ears. China’s economic slowdown is partially responsible for the trend. Analysts also point to increasingly stringent regulations to tackle air pollution and reduce the carbon-intensity of the economy. Most importantly, it is no accident that China added 11GW of solar capacity last year (enough to power six million homes,) and led the world in terms of investments into renewable energy—up 32% from 2013, according to the market research firm Business Monitor International. BMI expects China to keep up the pace this year in terms of both added renewable capacity and investment growth. In other words, it is reasonable to assume that the dramatic slump in China’s coal imports—and consumption—is no one-time fluke.

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China cuts its coal imports by almost half in 12 months

China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter. It has also been the biggest consumer of coal so far. The news that China’s imports of coal dropped by 42% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year should prick up everybody’s ears. China’s economic slowdown is partially responsible for the trend. Analysts also point to increasingly stringent regulations to tackle air pollution and reduce the carbon-intensity of the economy. Most importantly, it is no accident that China added 11GW of solar capacity last year (enough to power six million homes,) and led the world in terms of investments into renewable energy—up 32% from 2013, according to the market research firm Business Monitor International. BMI expects China to keep up the pace this year in terms of both added renewable capacity and investment growth. In other words, it is reasonable to assume that the dramatic slump in China’s coal imports—and consumption—is no one-time fluke.

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