China boosts coal production as world leaders discuss climate crisis

New Delhi, Nov 2 : China has increased its daily coal production by over one million tonnes per day, easing its energy shortage as world leaders gather in Britain for climate talks billed as one of the last chances to avert catastrophic global warming, Daily Mail reported.

But in a blow to the COP26 summit, China’s president Xi Jinping will not even give a ‘virtual’ speech in Glasgow, instead only submit a written statement, the report said.

The world’s biggest coal importer has battled widespread power cuts in recent months – particularly in its industrialised northeast – that have disrupted supply chains, due to strict emissions targets and record prices for the fossil fuel.

But the crisis is now winding down thanks to a boost in domestic coal output, according to a statement from China’s top economic planning body late Monday, the report said.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission said average daily coal production has risen to above 11.5 million tonnes since the middle of October, up by 1.1 million tonnes compared with the end of September.

The production surge comes as world leaders – but not Jinping – convene in Glasgow for COP26 talks to secure more ambitious global greenhouse gas emissions.

Xi, whose country is the world’s largest emitter of planet-heating gases, has instead submitted a written statement to the summit, the report added.

The energy shortage also pushed China to take other drastic measures, with Radio Free Asia (RFA) saying that the country is defying UN sanctions by purchasing coal from neighbouring North Korea.

Citing Chinese sources, RFA said that North Korean companies are smuggling the fuel in small ships and offloading it at sea, despite a 2017 UN ban on North Korean coal exports to limit its source of funds for its nuclear weapons programme.

The coal-smuggling trading companies are run by powerful North Korean government organisations, RFA reported, citing a trade official from North Pyongang, the report said.(IANS)

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