“There is reason, however, to be skeptical of China’s efforts to fight its choking pollution. Despite experiencing the worst air pollution on record in 2013, China last year approved the construction of more than 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity at a cost of $9.8 billion, according to a report compiled in January by Reuters. The increase in coal production in 2013 was six times bigger than the increase in 2012, when the administration approved just four coal projects with 16.6 million tonnes of annual capacity and a total investment of $1.2 billion.
In other words, in just one year, China added coal production capacity equal to 10 percent of total U.S. annual usage.
That news was startling, considering the country’s world-famous pollution, which has caused myriad health problems, marred cityscapes, and even gave an 8-year-old girl lung cancer. What’s more, the pollution has recently been confirmed to be caused by fossil fuel production, with coal at the forefront.
China’s plans announced Wednesday also lack legally binding plans to reach national air quality standards with clear timelines, cap regional coal consumption, or strengthen pollution-reduction supervision efforts.”