China is increasing its daily coal production by more than a million tons in the context of electricity shortages and at a time when leaders from around the world are negotiating in Glasgow on an agreement on how to save our planet from global warming, AFP reported.
In the midst of a global economic boom, China has been hit by rising commodity prices, particularly coal. The Asian giant depends 60 percent on them to power its power plants.
This situation causes power plants to operate at slow speeds despite strong demand, which in turn has led to a regime of electricity and a jump in production prices for enterprises.
To ease that pressure, authorities have allowed coal mines to open in recent weeks. The move runs counter to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promises to start cutting the country’s carbon footprint before 2030.
Since mid-October, China’s daily coal production has exceeded 11.5 million tonnes, up 1.1 million tonnes from the end of September.
China is the world’s first producer of coal and the world’s first source of pollutant emissions. China is also the country that invests the most in clean energy.
At the same time, the Chinese government called on the population to start stockpiling food. It is a matter of stockpiling a certain amount of basic necessities so that households can meet their daily needs or use them in case of emergencies, AFP reported.
It is not specified on what occasion this appeal, coming from the Ministry of Trade, is addressed, nor whether the country is threatened by food shortages.
The ministry also calls on the various local authorities to facilitate agricultural production and supply flows, monitor meat and vegetable stocks and maintain price stability.
The call comes at a time when China is trying to tackle a new spread of the coronavirus. Authorities have taken radical action in recent weeks over sporadic outbreaks in the north.
At least 6 million people have been locked down, particularly in the city of Lanzhou, 1,700 kilometers west of Beijing. For the last 24 hours, 71 new infections were registered in China compared to yesterday, when they were 92, which was the highest since mid-September.
The country was also hit by severe floods in the summer, disrupting the pace of agricultural production and raising prices. Climate change is thought to increase the incidence of this type of disaster.
China is also the world’s first importer of food, and this situation makes it vulnerable to diplomatic tensions, such as those it currently has with its major suppliers, such as the United States, Canada or Australia.
Last month, the prices of 28 food products increased by 16 percent compared to the previous month.
China has been affected by episodes of famine throughout its history, particularly in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when forced land collectivization caused tens of millions of deaths in villages.