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What caught our eye - three key stories (week 18, 2024)
Sustainability. Strategy. Finance.

What caught our eye - three key stories (week 18, 2024)

Are we near peak coal in China? Deforestation brings new disease risks. And we need to think more about bacterial infections.

Here are three stories that we found particularly interesting this week and why. We also give our lateral thought on each one.

Are we near peak coal in China? We frequently hear that 'it's pointless trying to cut carbon emissions in the West, when other countries continue to build new coal fired power stations. And the country that gets the most attention is China. But what if this really is just a transition phase? What if the rapid rise in renewables build out will mean that China could see peak coal powered electricity generation well before 2030 ?

Deforestation can bring risks that we may not expect, including the emergence of zoonotic diseases - diseases that jump between species. A good example is in Malaysia, where research showed that while human transmission malaria cases had fallen dramatically, zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi cases increased from 376 to 3,614 - an 861% increase.

And in a related story - just 6 bacteria caused almost as much death and disability as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV-AIDS combined. The Global Burden of Disease project estimated that 14% of the total disease impact is due to bacterial infections. And that was pre-COVID. We really do need to think more about Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).


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China to end new coal power additions before 2030?

Are we near peak coal in China? We frequently hear that 'it's pointless trying to cut carbon emissions in the West, when other countries continue to build new coal fired power stations'.

And the country that gets the most attention is China. But what if this really is just a transition phase? What if the rapid rise in renewables build out will mean that China could see peak coal powered electricity generation well before 2030 ?

Blair Palese on LinkedIn: #coal #climate #renewables
Wow! There goes that old “but China keeps building more new #coal so why shouldn’t we” argument! China is now in position to end new coal power additions…

This is the case being argued in a recent report from Climate Energy Finance entitled POWERSHIFT: Staggering rise of renewables
positions China to end new coal power before 2030.

The title really says it all. To quote the report:

"Rapidly declining wind, solar and storage costs are dramatically changing the economics of China’s electricity system, and driving a massive increase in renewables capacity. This means that China could see coal power generation peak well before 2030, then plateau and decline."

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