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Coal’s share of China energy mix falls in 2019 but consumption still rising

Coal accounted for 57.7% of China’s primary energy consumption in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, down 1.5 percentage points from the previous year as Beijing achieved its goal of reducing coal’s share to below 58% a year early.

China’s coal use was still up 1% year-on-year as the country’s total energy consumption rose by 3.3% to 4.86 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent (TCE), the bureau said in its annual National Social and Economic Development communique.

Crude oil consumption was up by 6.8%, natural gas use jumped by 8.6% and electricity consumption climbed by 4.5% last year, it added, without providing individual tonnage figures by energy source.

China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is looking to ease its reliance on coal in order to cap its carbon emissions by around 2030 and deliver on a pledge made as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

It had also vowed to reduce coal’s share of its energy mix to below 58% by 2020.

The share of so-called clean energy consumption – including natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power and wind power – last year accounted for 23.4% of the total, up 1.3 percentage points.

Meanwhile, China’s carbon dioxide emissions per 10,000 yuan ($1,426) worth of GDP fell by 4.1% last year, the communique said.

Even before the 2019 cuts, China had already met its target of bringing CO2 emissions per unit of GDP down by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Tom Daly and Min Zhang; Additional reporting by David Stanway in Shanghai and Muyu Xu in Beijing; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christopher Cushing)

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