China’s coal output reached its highest level since early 2015 in October, due to Beijing’s approval of a raft of mine expansions to curb record prices and increase supply, reports Nikkei. The numbers come despite the country’s recent pledge to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060.
The world’s largest producer and consumer of the fossil fuel churned out 357.09 million tonnes of coal last month, up from 334.1 million tones in September, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday. Output over the first 10 months of 2021 was 3.3 billion tonnes, up 4% year-on-year. Since July, China has approved expansions at more than 153 coal mines, which could add 55 million tonnes of coal output in the fourth quarter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said last month.
China’s top planning body said last Thursday that daily coal production had reached a record high of 12.05 million tonnes, after a cold snap a week earlier knocked daily output down by more than 1 million tonnes. The central government, striving to put an end to power shortages, has also forbidden local governments to shut coal mines without authorization and urged a restart at closed mines as soon as they have rectified any problems.