China’s coal, mined locally and available at a relatively low cost, has brought enormous
benefits to energy consumers in China and to those outside the country who enjoy the
products of its coal-based economy. Yet from another perspective, China’s coal use
has a high cost. Despite progress, health and safety in the thousands of small coal
mines lag far behind the standards achieved in China’s modern, large mines. Environmental
degradation is a real and pressing problem at all stages of coal production, supply
and use. Adding to these burdens, emissions of carbon dioxide are of concern to the
Chinese government as it embarks on its own climate protection strategy.
solutions are already transforming the way coal is used in China and elsewhere. This
study explores the context in which the development and deployment of these technologies
can be accelerated. Providing a large amount of new data, it describes in detail the
situation in China as well as the experiences of other countries in making coal cleaner.
Above all, the report calls for much greater levels of collaboration – existing bi-lateral
and multi-lateral co-operation with China on coal is found lacking. China’s growing
openness presents many commercial opportunities. Establishing a global market for
cleaner coal technologies is key to unlocking the potential of technology – one of
ten major recommendations made in this study.