China’s planned coal-to-gas plants could emit over 1 billion tons of CO2

Press release - 2014-07-24
London/Beijing - In a threat to its prospects of environmental improvement, China may build almost 50 coal-to-gas projects - potentially jeopardising its efforts to cut coal use, tackle pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to a new analysis by Greenpeace.

London/Beijing - In a threat to its prospects of environmental improvement, China may build almost 50 coal-to-gas projects - potentially jeopardising its efforts to cut coal use, tackle pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to a new analysis by Greenpeace.

The projects could cumulatively emit almost 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide, around one eighth of China’s current emissions - according to the analysis from Greenpeace’s Beijing office.

Built in the west of the country, the projects would provide gas to the country’s smog choked east, potentially replacing power from existing coal plants.

However, switching Beijing’s coal use to gas piped from coal-to-gas projects in Inner Mongolia would lead to a significant net increase in emissions - according to a recent peer-reviewed study published in China.

But the analysis by Greenpeace’s Beijing office suggests the projects would lead to far more gas production than the government had planned - and the moves have been controversial among energy experts in China.

With two projects currently operating, but a huge increase in the pipeline, an irrational rush towards coal-to-gas is looming. China stands at a crossroads between the clean technologies where they lead the world, and shuffling their pollution around the country in order to keep using coal. Under current policies, they may be buying a temporary alleviation in their local air pollution at the cost of permanently locking in water shortages and rising carbon pollution.

Greenpeace China Climate and Energy expert Li Shuo said:

“China has made huge strides in slowing coal demand and now leads the world in the deployment of clean energy, But our research has revealed that China risks an out of control proliferation of a destructive, expensive and out-dated technology which could undermine its efforts on climate change and further damage its environment. This wouldn’t be in China’s interest and with a new round of climate negotiations on the horizon global leaders need to work with China to ensure it doesn’t happen.”

1. China’s Coal-to-Gas Initiative - Statistics and Analysis

2. CTG expert opinions

3. CTG stakeholders

Contact
Greenpeace Beijing –
Greenpeace UK Press Office – 020 7865 8255

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