China Is Burning Way, Way More Coal Than It Let On

The world's biggest producer of greenhouse gas from coal emissions is even worse than suspected.


Already ranked the world’s biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning, it turns out China is blazing through as much as 600 million tons of coal a year more than the world was led to believe. China, you are the Michael Jordan of spewing sulfur dioxide.

This news comes from the latest edition of China Energy Statistical Yearbook, which details a run of under-reporting coal consumption for the last 15 years. Revised numbers include data from small factories not previously surveyed. That 600 million ton figure was from 2012 alone, and accounts for more than 70 percent of what the U.S. is burning annually.

The upgraded data comes at a bad time for sensitive political agreements, as leaders are set to meet in Paris this month at the U.N. Climate Change Conference to discuss an international framework to cut emissions.

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