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China’s coal addiction: effects on global climate policy and national carbon market

China’s continuing dependence on the dirtiest fossil fuel, which other countries are phasing out, is a major reason recent global climate summits have made little progress when it comes to CO2 mitigation. The country’s emission trading system (ETS), which covers coal-fired power plants, is not yet helping because its intensity-based cap is too generous.

Introduction Emitting over 12 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, China accounts for more than one-fourth of the world’s annual greenhouse gas output. This makes it one of the most important players in the annual global climate negotiati...

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