China's Extreme Drought Is Pushing the Country to Rely Even More on Coal

  • 03.09.2022
  • TIME

Extreme weather events have struck countries around the world this summer, and China is no exception. Forest fires erupted in the Southwestern city of Chongqing in late August amid a weeks-long heatwave—the worst the country has faced in decades. Record low rainfall has driven an unprecedented drought along the Yangtze, China’s longest river. Then suddenly this week, the same Southwest region that’s been devastated by scorching temperatures and drought for most of the summer, saw more than 100,000 people evacuated due to flood risk.

Like elsewhere in the world, weather made worse by climate change has put pressure on China’s energy system. Some environmentalists worry this will further prolong the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter’s reliance on coal, which still makes up more than half of its energy mix.