ASIAN EN­ERGY

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News -

The bat­tle over the fu­ture of coal is be­ing waged in Asia.

Home to half the world’s pop­u­la­tion, Asia ac­counts for three-fourths of global coal con­sump­tion to­day. More im­por­tant, it ac­counts for more than three-fourths of coal plants that are ei­ther un­der con­struc­tion or in the plan­ning stages – a whop­ping 1,200 of them, ac­cord­ing to Urge­wald, a Ger­man ad­vo­cacy group that tracks coal de­vel­op­ment. Heffa Schück­ing, who heads Urge­wald, called those plants “an as­sault on the Paris goals.”

In­done­sia is dig­ging more coal. Viet­nam is clear­ing ground for new coal-fired power plants. Ja­pan, reel­ing from 2011 nu­clear plant dis­as­ter, has res­ur­rected coal.

The world’s jug­ger­naut, though, is China. The coun­try con­sumes half the world’s coal. More than 4.3 mil­lion Chi­nese are em­ployed in the coun­try’s coal mines. China has added 40 per­cent of the world’s coal ca­pac­ity since 2002, a huge in­crease for

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