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China rolls back climate policy, reopens closed coal mines as power demand surges


China’s top planning authority authorized more shuttered coal mines to restart production as key policymakers seek to balance progress on climate goals against still surging power demand.

China authorized coal mines to restart with prices still high

Operations will restart for a year at 15 coal mines across northern provinces including Shanxi and the Xinjiang region, delivering as much as about 44 million tons of coal, according to a statement by the National Development and Reform Commission. Authorities last week announced the restart of 38 coal mines in Inner Mongolia.

The decision comes as China seeks to tame thermal coal prices that have jumped about a third this year and hit a record in May amid supply disruptions and strong demand that’s the result of extreme summer heat and a rebound in industrial output.

It also follows last month’s recommendation from China’s top policymakers for an easing of aggressive steps to curb emissions as the nation seeks to meet power demand and maintain growth. Members of the Politburo have called for a coordinated, orderly approach to reach carbon neutrality, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

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