coalIn November 2014,  President of the United States, Barack Obama (US) and President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, released the historical "U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change". In the announcement, it was aknowledged that US and the People's Republic of China "have a critical role to play in combating global climate change, one of the greatest threats facing humanity". For this purpose, It was also stated that "the United States intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26%-28% below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28%. China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030. Both sides intend to continue to work to increase ambition over time". This announcement was considered a milestone in the fight against climate change.  Indeed, accordingly with Greenpeace, "China is the world's largest energy consumer and the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. In 2013, coal accounted for 65% of China's overall energy consumption, making it the most coal-dependent country among top energy consumers. China accounts for almost half of global coal consumption and from 2000 to 2010 its coal use and emissions grew on average at 9% a year. In 2010 alone, China's increase in coalfired power generation capacity equaled Germany's existing generating capacity."

But very good news are coming from China now. An analysis conducted by Greenpeace/Energydesk China suggests coal consumption in the world's largest economy fell by almost 8% and CO2 emissions by around 5% in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014. It comes after the latest data – for April – showed coal output down 7.4% year on year amidst reports of fundamental reform for the sector. China also recently ordered more than 1,000 coal mines to close. Greenpeace continues: "The reduction in emissions from 2014 to 2015 is roughly equal to the total CO2 emissions of the UK over four months, and the reduction in coal use is equal to four times UK total consumption. If the reduction continues until the end of the year, it will be the largest recorded year-on-year reduction in coal use and CO2 in any country. Falling coal output in China has already had a big impact on global emissions with early data from the IEA suggesting that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn."

Read here "The End of China's Coal Boom" released by Greenpeace.

Read here "China coal use falls: CO2 reduction this year could equal UK total emissions over same period" by Energydesk China (Greenpeace).