The World Coal Association data shows how China uses a lot of coal, which is a type of fuel that can make air pollution. This means that China is responsible for a big part of the pollution that we want to reduce.
It is not only China but also India and other emerging economies that are heavily reliant on coal for energy. China and India together consumed 67% of total global coal production in 2022 — China 52% and India 15%. Although both countries are also installing massive amounts of renewables, their consumption of coal will not decline for some time.
Some people are wondering if Western countries can do anything to reduce pollution worldwide. They are also asking if it is worth it for Western countries to change their economies to produce less pollution.
A lot of countries that are just starting to grow their economies think it’s not fair that the Western countries won’t let them do things the same way they did. They wonder why they have to reduce pollution and slow down their economic growth to fix a problem that they didn’t even cause.
That statement has some merit but the reality is, we only have one world and everything is interlinked.
Some believe that developing economies should go directly to using renewable energy sources instead of relying on coal. One important factor in making this possible is providing low-cost funding to countries without established power systems, allowing them to skip over the use of coal. This would result in a limited future for coal in global energy production.
Reference- World Coal Association website & data, BBC, Afrik 21 Newsletter, Clean Technica, The Guardian