Financial Times, 31 October 2018
Leslie Hook, David Sheppard and Myles McCormick
A fleet of new coal plants in Asia threatening to derail global emissions targets has exposed the growing “disconnect” between energy markets and climate goals.
Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said the growth of coal-fired power in Asia was worrying because the new plants would “lock in the emissions trajectory of the world, full stop”.
Asia has 2,000GW of coal-fired power plants that are operating or under construction — more than 10 times as much as the EU — and many of them are inefficient plants.
While the coal fleets in the US and Europe are older, 42 years on average, and nearing the end of their life, Asia’s coal plants are just 11-years-old on average and most still have decades left to operate.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions ticked up 1.4 per cent last year, following several years of staying flat, and are set to rise again in 2018 owing to greater demand for fossil fuels. Asia accounted for two-thirds of the growth in emissions last year.
Last year China’s coal-fired power generation grew 4 per cent, while India’s rose 13 per cent, according to IEA data. The rate of investment in the construction of new coal-fired power plants, however, also slowed down last year, according to the agency………