Why China’s coal problem is also a U.S. problem

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

WHY CHINA’S COAL PROBLEM IS ALSO A US PROBLEM: China’s coal consumption doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. The U.S. has the political and economic power to help change that, but politics are getting in the way.

Why that’s bad for climate change: Almost half of the world’s coal is used in China, so what the country does on coal drives the global market for the high-emitting fossil fuel.

It’s “completely wrong” to say the world is seeing the end of coal, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, told Abby. While coal is falling quickly in the U.S. and the European Union, though, it’s tough to expect the same sort of rapid changes in Asia, he added.

What the U.S. could do: Put economic and political pressure on China, as well as offer assistance by bringing down the costs of carbon-cutting tech.

Under the Trump administration, though, the U.S. is doing very little. Trump has pulled away from international climate talks. His trade war with China has undercut the countries’ cooperation on carbon capture and other low-carbon technologies. And domestic efforts in the U.S. to deploy carbon capture at a lower cost aren’t moving fast enough.