OIES Podcast – Prospects of the Chinese coal chemical industry

In this latest podcast from the China programme, Michal Meidan talks to Kevin Tu about the outlook for China’s coal chemicals industry in an increasingly carbon constrained world. Drawing on Kevin’s paper ‘Prospects of the Chinese coal chemical industry in an increasingly carbon-constrained world’, they discuss the political and economic importance of the sector in China. Kevin discusses the layout of China’s coal chemicals industry and how a growing emphasis on energy security is supporting its growth. In addition, a focus by local governments on investments, especially in the post pandemic recovery, is further sustaining the sector. But the coal chemical industry in China is plagued by overcapacity and, in the context of the country’s dual carbon goals of peaking national carbon emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, it will become harder to sustain. Technological innovation and adaptation is one way forward, but post-2030, the outlook is increasingly challenging. Kevin and Michal discuss these opposing trends and how they are likely to play out.


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