The reduction in emissions from 2014 to 2015 is roughly equal to the total CO2 emissions of the UK over four months, and the reduction in coal use is equal to four times UK total consumption.
If the reduction continues until the end of the year, it will be the largest recorded year-on-year reduction in coal use and CO2 in any country.
The calculation is based on a variety of sources including China’s industrial output data for April which showed a 6.1% reduction in coal output in the first four months of 2015.
This was combined with a 38% reduction in coal imports reported earlier by China Customs and changes to coal stock levels to give us a first look of how China’s coal consumption and CO2 emissions are developing after the reduction last year.
China’s economy has grown at a slower pace with lower-carbon sectors growing far faster than big energy users such as steel whilst demand has increasingly been met by new forms of power generation – including wind & solar – rather than coal.
Further analysis on China’s “new normal”, breaking down the causes of the collapse in coal use and the possible implications will be published later this week.