China: CO2 Emissions from Coal Use, by year
YearEmissions,
in million metric tons
20228,251
20217,979
20207,680
20197,523
20187,316
20177,163
20167,071
20157,267
20147,425
20137,493
20127,465
20117,310
20106,569
20096,029
20085,729
20075,290
20064,905
20054,424
20043,835
20033,602
20023,019
20012,638
20002,602
19992,581
19982,445
19972,610
19962,660
19952,570
19942,381
19932,229
19922,115
19912,050
19901,977
19891,920
19881,893
19871,770
19861,657
19851,585
19841,454
19831,322
19821,249
19811,125
19801,123
19791,148
19781,117
1977999
1976910
1975907
1974776
1973784
1972771
1971736
1970666
1969501
1968413
1967384
1966470
1965433
1964402
1963406
1962412
1961522
1960748
  • Region: China
  • Time period: 1960 to 2022
  • Published: 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 29, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Rapid Increase in CO₂ Emissions

CO₂ emissions from coal use in China have seen a significant increase, from 748 million metric tons in 1960 to 8251 million metric tons in 2022. This represents a more than tenfold increase over the 62-year period.

Decade of Highest Growth

The decade from 2000 to 2010 experienced remarkable growth, with emissions rising from 2602 million metric tons to 6569 million metric tons. This period highlights China's rapid industrialization and increased reliance on coal.

Largest Year-over-Year Increase

The year 1970 stands out for having the largest year-over-year percentage increase in CO₂ emissions at 32.93%, where emissions surged from 666 million metric tons the previous year. This indicates a period of significant energy demand growth.

Trend of Steady Increases

Despite fluctuations, there has been a consistent upward trend in emissions. The early 2000s, particularly, showcased steady increases, with emissions growing annually, reflecting China's expanding economy and energy consumption.

Recent Growth Rate

The growth rate of CO₂ emissions has remained positive in recent years, with an increase from 7523 million metric tons in 2019 to 8251 million metric tons in 2022. This indicates a continued reliance on coal despite global shifts towards cleaner energy sources.

Emission Reduction Efforts

A brief period of emission reduction is observable between 2014 and 2016, where emissions decreased from 7425 million metric tons to 7071 million metric tons. This suggests efforts or changes towards reducing coal dependency, although emissions began to rise again post-2016.

Analysis of Variability

The variability in year-over-year emission changes, ranging from a decrease of -30.21% in 1961 to an increase of 32.93% in 1970, underscores the impact of economic policies, global energy markets, and domestic energy needs on China's coal use and resulting CO₂ emissions.

Overview of Long-term Trends

Over the long term, China's CO₂ emissions from coal use have grown substantially, reflecting the country's industrial growth and increasing energy demands. The overall trend from 1960 to 2022 underscores the critical challenges and opportunities for transitioning to sustainable energy sources in one of the world's largest economies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the increase in CO₂ emissions from coal use in China?

CO₂ emissions from coal use in China have escalated from 748 million metric tons in 1960 to 8251 million metric tons in 2022, representing a tenfold increase.

What is the notable emission trend?

The period from 2000 to 2010 marked significant CO₂ emission growth in China, escalating from 2602 million metric tons to 6569 million metric tons, reflecting rapid industrialization and increased reliance on coal.

Which year had the most significant year-over-year percentage increase in CO₂ emissions?

The year 1970 had the most pronounced year-over-year percentage increase at 32.93%, with emissions jumping from 666 million metric tons the previous year.

Terms and Definitions

These are the harmful releases into the environment of carbon dioxide, a type of greenhouse gas. CO₂ emissions are primarily the result of human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, as well as through deforestation, land use changes, and industrial processes. These emissions contribute significantly to global warming and climate change by trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere.

Refers to the practice of burning coal as a source of energy. The energy produced from coal is used in various sectors including electricity generation, industrial processes, residential heating, and transportation. However, burning coal emits large amounts of CO2 and other pollutants, contributing to environmental issues such as climate change and air pollution.

A greenhouse gas (GHG) is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing and trapping infrared radiation (heat), thereby contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Global warming is the long-term increase in Earth's average temperature due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. The result of global warming can lead to more severe weather, sea-level rise and harm to a range of organisms.

Climate change refers to significant changes in global climate patterns, including increases in global average surface temperatures, but also changes in precipitation, wind patterns, and other aspects of the climate. It is primarily caused by human activities that add large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, such as CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels.

Fossil Fuels are natural fuel sources formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals that have been subjected to high heat and pressure over millions of years. The three major types of fossil fuels are coal, oil, and natural gas. They are commonly used for energy production, but their combustion results in significant emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

These are power plants that generate electricity by burning coal as a fuel in a boiler to produce steam. The steam drives a turbine connected to an electrical generator. However, coal-burning power plants are significant contributors to CO2 emissions and other air pollutants.
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