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Monthly coal emissions in China 2019 & 2020

In the first half of 2020, the energy sector was severely impacted worldwide due to the outbreak of COVID-19. With most nations put under lockdown, energy demand plummeted as populations were confined to their homes. As the burning of coal declined, so did emission levels. In China, the most noticeable decline was observed in February 2020. Emission levels caused by coal (the most polluting of fossil fuels) amounted to 403 million metric tons of CO2, compared with 489 million recorded in the same month the previous year.
However, the following month experienced a surge in emissions, and by May 2020 levels had surpassed those recorded the previous May. This increase coincided with the loosening of lockdown measures and increased coal demand, as the nation looked to bounce back from the economic impact of the virus.

Monthly emissions produced by coal in China from January to May 2020, compared with 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

January to May, 2019 and 2020

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Statistics on "Climate change and emissions in China"

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