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China pledges cuts in coal use

TAIPEI, Taiwan

China, the world’s biggest coal user, said this week the fossil fuel will play a less dominant role in its energy mix and that, despite plans to build new coal-fired power plants, the country won’t use it on a wide scale.

Tuesday’s comments by Li Gao, the director general of the Department of Climate Change in China’s Environment Ministry, follow pledges at last week’s climate summit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to work with the United States in cutting emissions.

Li acknowledged that China was still building new coal power plants, but he emphasized that they were unlike traditional coal plants and would not emit as much as plants did previously. Climate experts have long advocated for a ban on new coal power plants, which would be a significant step.

China obtains roughly 60% of its power from coal, and is the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gases.

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