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At 14 Million Tons a Day, India and China Still Addicted to Coal

  • Power plant projects mean fuel will retain role in energy mix
  • Nations made last-minute defense of coal’s future at COP26
Trucks transfer raw coal in pits in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture. 

Trucks transfer raw coal in pits in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture. 

Photographer: Liu Xin/China News Service/VCG/Getty Images

There’s a reason India and China defended coal’s future at the Glasgow climate summit: no nations have added more coal-fired power-plant capacity in the past decade than these two major emitters.

China and India are currently mining a combined 14 million tons a day of the dirtiest fossil fuel. Coal not only remains crucial to their current energy needs but it looks set to have a role for decades to come. That’s even as the two Asian giants install huge volumes of renewables and chase targets to zero out greenhouse gas emissions.