Concerns over coal-fired power plant construction projects in Asia

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Some Asian countries are planning to build several hundred coal-fired power plants, a report published by Carbon Tracker warns. The London-based think tank believes these plants pose a serious threat to global warming limitation goals.

Five Asian countries concentrate 80% of the new coal plants planned in the world. China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to build more than 600 new plants with a capacity of 300 gigawatts. This is the equivalent of Japan’s power generation capacity.

The Middle Kingdom is leading the pack with 368 power plants under construction, yet developments at odds with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to achieve carbon neutrality in China by 2060.

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More broadly, all these projects threaten the goal of limiting the warming of temperatures in the world to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels, alert Carbon Tracker. According to the think tank, the governments of these countries are often reluctant to change their energy source because they worry about their energy security, want to support their industry and also because of lobbying.

Yet renewables like solar or wind have become cheaper than coal in most parts of the world.

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