China has committed to reaching peak carbon emissions levels by 2030, but will try to reach that point sooner — and there is evidence Beijing is making progress.
China’s CO2 emissions may have already peaked, a full decade ahead of its Paris Agreement commitment, thanks in large part to falling coal consumption, according to the Climate Action Tracker, a scientific analysis produced by three research organizations.
To be sure, more than 110 gigawatts of coal-fired plants are under construction in China, but the country’s coal use likely peaked in 2013, according to the International Energy Agency.
“Utilisation rates of coal-fired power plants in China are falling rapidly, as new plants
enter an electricity system in which renewables have expanded fast and demand has
slowed markedly,” IEA wrote in its 2016 World Energy Outlook.