China fights coal dependency as its smog worsens


In his annual government work report, Premier Li Keqiang said China would reduce its energy intensity in 2015. In the coming year, carbon dioxide intensity will be cut by at least 3.1 percent. Both chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions will be reduced by about 2 percent. Currently, China’s coal consumption accounts for more than 67 percent of its energy consumption. That is about 35 percentage points higher than the world average.

CCTV’s Han Peng filed this report from Datong, China.


  • Coal accounts for two-thirds of China’s energy supply.
  • Datong, referred to as the country’s “coal capital”, pieces of coal are transported with trucks by the thousands to cities across the country.
  • The coal mines and plants have generated pollution on alarming levels that have led many to question the country’s economic model.
  • A sustained effort to reduce China’s dependence on coal industry is underway, but many believe there are few alternatives that are viable or sustainable on a large scale.
  • Datong has been long scarred by pollution. The city is finding itself at the heart of the debate and is struggling to redefine itself.
  • Despite the city’s intensive coal mining, Datong actually has an extraordinarily blue sky.
  • Once the coal is extracted from underground, it goes all the way along a sealed tunnel to the places it will be burned up. It never sees the light of day.

Scott Moore of the Council on Foreign Relations discusses China’s energy intensity

CCTV America interviewed Scott Moore for more on China’s fight against pollution. Moore is an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.