China, the U.S. and India are the top three of 10 countries that account for more than 85 percent of global carbon emissions from coal-fired plants, the International Energy Agency reports.
Coal-fired power plants account for more than 8.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, which represents around one-quarter of the world’s carbon emissions, the IEA report states.
Despite climate change concerns, coal-fired power generation is growing, and over the last five years, 350 gigawatts of capacity was added; that number is expected to hit 1,000 gigawatts by 2035.
China has the largest set of coal-fired power plants installed as well as the youngest. Recently China’s State Council and China’s Cabinet announced plans to cut coal-based emissions by 65 percent by 2017. The poor air quality along with political pressure put on by the middle class pushed the Chinese government to stop several coal-fired plants.
The other seven countries in the top 10 are Germany, Russia, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Korea and Poland.