In the first half of this year, Chinese financial institutions provided at least $1 billion in “green” financing to coal-related projects as a review of financial data showed.
It goes with fossil fuels, as they play a major role in Beijing’s energy strategy.
Wind, a Shanghai-based financial data provider, said 7.4 billion yuan in the green corporate and financial bonds were issued.
They concern with power plants fueled by coal or coalbed methane as well as coal-to-chemical projects.
A major part of China’s effort is cutting coal and encouraging cleaner forms of energy to reduce smog and greenhouse gases.
The share of coal in the country’s total energy mix plunged to 59% last year, down from 68.5% in 2012. It still intends to cut that share to around 50% by 2030.
Last year, green bonds of more than a quarter issued in China failed to meet international criteria, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).
Climate Bonds Initiative is a non-profit group that sponsors global green bond standards.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Chinese regulators were to develop new standards to avoid coal projects from issuing green bonds.
This is to bring the nation more in line with global norms.
The disruption of the move was by the state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.
It is because the move still funds for the needed ultra-low emissions technology and to progress cleaner coal revenue streams such as coal chemicals and coalbed methane.
New Annual Coal Mining Capacity
A senior climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia, Liu Junyan said, “Coal is obviously never green.”
She also added, “The alleged purpose for ‘clean coal tech’ is to address the environmental risk posed by the coal industry.”
Lastly, “But for some of these methods, the ‘clean coal’ risk is even greater than the original problem.”
In a China news report, it was reported that this year, more than 80% of a central government renewable energy fund was used to supply fossil fuels like coalbed methane and shale gas in 2018.
In the first half of this year, China has approved 141 million tonnes of new annual coal mining capacity.
This is very different from the previous 25 million tonnes for the whole of 2018.
More coal-fueled power stations are also likely to be built, with an industry lobby group predicting total coal-fired capacity to peak at 1,300 gigawatts.
This means another 290 GW could go into the process.