China to ban coal exports for two years
China is banning coal exports from its coast for two more years in an attempt to combat air pollution and climate change.
The announcement, made by the Chinese government on Wednesday, followed a call by Premier Li Keqiang for the country to move away from coal by 2020.
China has been the world’s largest importer of coal, and the announcement comes after President Xi Jinping ordered a clampdown on coal exports last year in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels.
China has already banned coal imports for six months from some of its biggest export markets, including India and the United States.
The move comes after several major U.S. states and the European Union banned imports from China, saying it was polluting the air and damaging their economies.
China is also the world leader in coal-fired power generation, but many of its coal-based plants are located in remote areas.
China also plans to increase its use of natural gas, but it has been a relatively quiet year for its coal industry.
Coal prices have been on the rise, and China has been forced to rely on imports from neighboring countries such as India, Vietnam and Indonesia.