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Coal exports to China look good as Beijing looks less green

DESPITE much talk of clean energy, Chinese coal consumption is back near peak levels after rebounding over the past three years, widening markets for Australian coal imports

08 January 2020 - 19:00

DESPITE much talk of clean energy, Chinese coal consumption is back near peak levels after rebounding over the past three years, widening markets for Australian coal imports.

Infrastructure stimulus measures to offset the impact of the prolonged trade war with the US have boosted consumption, reports the Wall Street Journal.



Australia was the world's second largest coal exporter, with exports accounting for roughly 73 per cent of coal production.



'China was seen, particularly by the developing and emerging economies, as the leader, saying look at all the wonderful stuff we're doing,' said Philip Andrews-Speed, senior principal fellow at the Energy Studies Institute at the National University of Singapore. But the country has continued construction on new coal plants even as it aims to phase out the fossil fuel, he said: 'There's a deep contradiction in this.'



While China is on track to meet its goals through 2020 and 2030, its mixed signals on coal suggest Beijing is less willing to pursue green-energy goals and join the EU in setting more ambitious emission targets.


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