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China Climate Advisers Say More Coal Needed for Energy Security

  • Importance of energy security has escalated amid Ukraine war
  • Electricity market reforms needed to back green goals
A coal depot near a power station in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China.

A coal depot near a power station in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China’s plans to add to its world-leading fleet of coal power plants are a short-term Band-Aid to address energy security concerns and don’t represent a shift in emissions policies, according to members of the team representing the nation at the COP27 summit.

New plants are being planned to address a spate of high-profile electricity shortages in recent years while providing a buffer to global energy markets that have become more volatile following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to interviews with three of China’s delegates at the climate meeting in Egypt.