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Smoke billows from a coal-fired generator at a steel factory in the industrial province of Hebei, China.

China Races to Build up Global Coal Generation

Despite choking on pollution and embracing renewables, China continues to expand coal power fleet.

Chinese companies are building 700 new coal-fired generation plants domestically and around the world, the New York Times reported.

Earlier, China’s announced that it would halt construction on 100 new coal-fired generation plants this year.

“But new data on the world’s biggest developers of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade,” the Times reported.

Roughly 80 percent of the new coal plans will be in China and the balance will be in other countries.

Currently, 1,600 coal-fired generation plants are being built or planned in 62 countries.

The construction will make it “virtually impossible” to achieve the aims of the Paris climate agreement aimed to combat rising temperatures and climate change, environmentalists said.

“The frenzied addition of coal plants underscores how the world is set to remain dependent on coal for decades, despite fast growth in renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power,” the Times reported.

“In China, concerns over smog and climate change have prompted a move toward renewables, as have slowing economic growth and a gradual shift in the Chinese economy away from heavy manufacturing and toward consumer industries.

“But overseas, the Chinese are playing a different game. Shanghai Electric Group, one of the country’s largest electrical equipment makers, has announced plans to build coal power plants in Egypt, Pakistan and Iran with a total capacity of 6,285 megawatts — almost 10 times the 660 megawatts of coal power it has planned in China.”

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