The news shows that at least some in China are prioritizing economic growth over emissions reductions — although some analysts say they are still optimistic that China will reach its climate targets. “There is this desire in the Chinese political and economic system to keep on building, to continue the infrastructure fever,” says Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace in Beijing.
The report on China’s new coal plants was written by the Helsinki-based research organization the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the U.S. group Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and released on Aug. 13. It came just days after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published an alarming report that concluded human-caused climate change is an “unequivocal” reality. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the IPCC report a “code red for humanity.”