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Greenhouse Gas Emissions May Peak This Decade

china flag-elChina’s plan to cut coal use could mean global greenhouse-gas emissions may peak before 2020, Bloomberg reports, quoting a Greenpeace study.

Twelve of 34 Chinese provinces have set targets that would lower coal consumption by 655 million metric tons by the end of the decade, which would reduce CO2 emissions by 1,300 million tons by 2020, according to Li Shuo, a policy officer at Greenpeace.

While about half of global CO2 emissions growth in the past decade came from coal consumption in China, the country’s use of the fuel is already tapering off, Li said. Consumption grew 2.6 percent last year, down from 9.4 percent in 2011, he said.

China has sought to cut air pollution that’s accompanied three decades of double-digit economic growth amid rising public concern that smog and environmental degradation are affecting the nation’s health and economy. China was the top producer and importer of coal in 2012 and has built dozens of new coal-fired power plants in the past decade, according to the World Coal Association trade lobby.

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