With the rise of China, the world wide coal consumption is hitting record levels. China’s coal consumption equals the total consumption of the rest of the world. In 2011 the world consumption was at 4.3 billion tons while China consumption reached 3.8 billion tons. This is bad news for the environment especially due to concerns over air emissions including greenhouse gas emissions. Air pollutants generated by coal include sulphur, nitrogen, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, methane and traces of mercury. Coal is powering China’s power generation plants more than any other source used. People in northern and central China breaths more dirty air than other parts of the country. Within the last decade the world has seen its worst air pollutant levels.
China is showing willingness to reduce coal as a source of power generation. Major portion of its coal consumption comes from Australia and production of coal in Australia seen an ongoing slow down. In the meantime major cities like Beijing are looking to promote other alternative sources of energy such as electricity generation from natural gas and petroleum. China is also aiming to cut down the national energy consumption by 16 percent and reduce carbon emissions by 17 percent.