Coal use in China - the world’s largest consumer of coal - peaked in 2013-2014 and is now set to decline, argues a Commentary published online in Nature Geoscience this week.
Tong Wu and colleagues attribute the sooner-than-expected peak, which comes at lower per-capita gross domestic product than that for the peak coal consumption in the United Kingdom and the United States, to three main factors: slower economic growth, a decline in coal-intensive industries, and environmental policies. They conclude that coal will continue to be an important energy source for the Chinese economy for the foreseeable future, but that China’s economic growth and improving living standards are no longer coupled to rising coal consumption.
This press release refers to a Nature Geoscience Comment piece, not a Nature Geoscience research paper or Article. It has been peer reviewed for accuracy. Comment pieces are topical, authoritative Op-Eds pertaining to scientific research and its ramifications.