China Earmarks $31.4B To Spur Cleaner Use Of Coal
China will establish a special relending facility worth 200 billion yuan ($31.35 billion) to support the clean use of coal, state broadcaster CCTV quoted the country's cabinet as saying on Wednesday, Kevin Yao reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: A coal plant in Shanghai, China
The plan comes after China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of the fuel, earlier this week rejected criticism that it helped weaken language on phasing out coal at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, saying it had already made "enormous efforts" to reduce coal consumption.
The relending facility will be used to promote clean and efficient processing of coal, CCTV said. It did not specify what that would involve, but such processing could include washing to remove toxic pollutants and impurities.
The facility is also aimed at promoting safe, efficient, green, and smart coal mining, as well as the development and use of coalbed methane, an unconventional form of natural gas found in coal deposits, CCTV reported in an evening newscast.
The cabinet, or State Council, said the loans would be in addition to a lending tool rolled out by the central bank this month to support efforts to cut carbon emissions, CCTV reported.
The People's Bank of China said on Nov. 8 it would provide financial institutions with low-cost loans to help firms cut emissions, supporting the country's long-term carbon neutrality goals. Coal, a major contributor to carbon emissions, accounted for 56.8% of China's primary energy consumption in 2020, down from around 68% a decade earlier.