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Climate: 34 countries in the world still have plans for new coal-fired power plants

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Extremely polluting, coal remains one of the main sources of energy in the world, despite the warnings of all environmental protection organizations. 34 countries still have plans to build new coal-fired power plants.

There are around 2,400 power plants in operation in 79 countries around the world, according to the latest report from Global Energy Monitor, a San Francisco, US-based think tank, totaling nearly 2,100 gigawatts (GW) of capacity. of production. The latter should also increase further by 457 GW via new coal-fired power plant projects.

The report nevertheless highlights the downward trend in the global production capacity of these power plants, which fell by 13% in 2021. While 34 countries are still planning to build new coal-fired power plants, there were 41 in this case in January 2021 .

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China ramps up power plant construction projects

In 2021, the fleet of coal-fired power plants in operation worldwide increased by a further 18.2 GW, a Covid-related rebound, the report said. China “continued to be the glaring exception to the current decline of power plants in development”, point out the authors.

The People’s Republic is indeed the largest coal-consuming country in the world, emitting twice as much greenhouse gas as the United States, and four times as much as India. At COP26 in Glasgow last year, China pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, and to stop funding and building new coal-fired power plants overseas. 65 countries had also pledged to no longer build coal-fired power plants.

However, China alone has almost as many opening projects at the start of 2022 (for a total of 25.2 GW of capacity) as the rest of the planet has closing projects (25.6 GW). The Global Energy Monitor report therefore denounces “the resumption of building permits” for coal-fired power plants in China in early 2022, made possible by a “rewriting of the country’s energy policy”.

The report’s authors are also concerned about whether China will continue or end overseas coal-fired power projects whose contracts have already been signed: “To date, it is unclear whether the China will cut the cord for the 56 power plants in project that its public banks and private companies plan to finance.

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