15 mines will be reopened to meet the country’s electricity demand.
(illustration) ( AFP / GREG BAKER )
China has authorized the reopening of coal mines for a period of one year, as the country sees its demand for electricity jump.
The electricity network is put to the test by devastating weather conditions, the high heat which leads to massive recourse to air conditioning (particularly energy-intensive), as well as the resumption of activity in the world’s second-largest economy. In this context, the powerful Chinese planning agency gave the green light on Wednesday to restart 15 mines.
Carbon neutrality objective by 2060
Located in the regions of Inner Mongolia (north) and Xinjiang (northwest), they will provide about 44 million tonnes of coal per year, the agency said in a statement released Wednesday. Authorities last week authorized the reopening of 38 coal mines in Inner Mongolia. At the end of 2020, China had to ration electricity amid a coal shortage.
Despite the winter temperatures, tens of millions of Chinese had faced power cuts decided by the authorities.
At the beginning of December, Hunan (center) had thus decreed the extinction for several hours a day of lighting on buildings and limited heating in places of entertainment.
China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is the country that invests the most in new energies and Beijing has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. The country launched its carbon market in July in order to increase ” help reduce its polluting emissions. This mechanism sets pollution ceilings for companies for the first time. Observers are however skeptical about the impact of this new system, due to the low price of the right to pollute.