The National Energy Administration of China has revealed in a press release that it intends to close over a thousand coal mines this year.
The mines currently produce a combined total of 60 million tons of coal but are now set to be closed to meet the Chinese authorities’ stated aim of getting rid of nearly 500 million tons of coal in the next three to five years.
China regularly experiences major pollution peaks which are extremely hazardous to health and it is estimated that coal is the largest contributor to poor air quality in China. Recent studies suggest that coal is implicated in the death of more than 350 000 people each year in China.
At present, coal accounts for nearly 65% of China’s energy mix. This year, the authorities want to reduce this share to around 62.5%, and estimate that the annual consumption in 2016 will amount to approximately 4 billion tons.