China restarts coal mines to meet surging power demand

·1-min read
A coal-fuelled power station in China's northern Shanxi province

China's top planning authority has allowed shuttered coal mines to restart production as the country works to meet surging power demand while forging ahead with ambitious climate goals.

Fifteen mines across China's northern regions ranging from Inner Mongolia to Shanxi have restarted operations, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

Last week authorities announced the restart of another 38 mines in Inner Mongolia, bringing the total number brought back online to 53.

The combined annual production capacity of these mines exceeds 110 million tonnes.

The resumption of operations comes as China seeks to temper rising prices for thermal coal, which hit a record in May.

But President Xi Jinping has also pledged to wean China off coal with a target of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality 30 years later.

Top policymakers called for a coordinated and orderly path towards carbon neutrality in a meeting last month, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

China is the world's biggest polluter and emits a third of the world's greenhouse gases.

Last December tens of millions across the country faced power shortages in below-freezing winter temperatures as three provinces imposed curbs on electricity use when coal supply became squeezed.

bys/axn

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