Speed Reads

Climate change

Chinese coal consumption falls for the first time this century

China is the world's worst polluter, burning through almost as many fossil fuels as the rest of the world combined per year.

But things are changing. China is also the world's largest investor in green energy. And after rising and rising for the entirety of the 21st century, Chinese coal consumption is finally beginning to fall.

Most exciting of all, that decline is not holding back Chinese GDP growth. As Renew Economy's Justin Guay points out, Chinese GDP has decoupled from Chinese coal consumption:

(Renew Economy/Justin Guay)

The change can't be solely attributed to huge quantities of Chinese renewable energy coming online. It's also a result of China diversifying its economy so that is no longer as reliant on industrial output. China's service sector is growing rapidly.