Coal consumption in China: A review of plans for decarbonisation and an outlook on import demand

China’s consumption of coal has made headlines in the media over the past few years for several reasons. Its covid-stimulus spending was largely directed towards smokestack industries, pushing emissions up. Xi Jinping quite unexpectedly announced China had set itself a net-zero emissions target by 2026, with emissions peaking before 2030. Political tensions led to China imposing an embargo on imports of Australian coal. And in two consecutive years, parts of China suffered power supply shortages. This seminar will present analysis done using the Installation-level China Coal Model, one of the world’s most granular models of China’s coal sector. This will be focused on developments in domestic demand, production, and transport infrastructure for coal, and the resulting effects on Chinese demand for imported coal. These results will be connected with news on the covid-stimulus, net-zero target, the embargo, and power generation crises, and given context with a review of key policies for decarbonisation.

Jorrit Gosens received his PhD in Environmental Economics & Management from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His work has focused on the development of renewable energy technologies and industries, including the policies that drive these developments. A big focus in this work has been the renewable energy industries, or understanding why some countries manage to develop strong R&D or industrial capabilities, and whether this depends on country characteristics, technology characteristics, or policy design. In his current position at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Jorrit works on energy transitions more generally. Here he has led the development of one of the world’s most granular transport models of China’s coal sector, which is currently being expanded to cover the Asia-Pacific region, and the iron and steel sector. Jorrit created and runs China Energy Portal, an online resource with translated Chinese energy policy and statistics.

The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.


Jorrit Gosens

Dates & times

Thursday, 23 March 2023

4.00pm - 5.30pm


Seminar Rooms, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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