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With Demand Peaking in China, the Party’s Over for Coal

The coal boom of the last decade may be set to collapse, with the U.S. announcing new carbon regulations for power plants and China taking serious steps toward greenhouse gas limits. “Market analysts are suggesting that investors are about to pull the plug on coal. And as the coal tide retreats, the planet’s vast investment in coal infrastructure could start to look as dumb as a subprime mortgage in 2007,” Pearce reports. “This would be a huge turnaround. The rise in the past decade of coal, the most carbon-intensive of major fossil fuels, has been astounding. For all the political talk of cutting carbon emissions, coal’s share of global energy rose from 25 to 30%. Most of this was due to China, which gets 80% of its electricity from coal,” but China is now expected to hit peak coal consumption in 2020 or sooner.

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