China-Smokestsck-PhotoCredit-Jonathan Kos-Read

China is on course to set a world record this year for the largest voluntary reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of any country in history.

In the first four months of the year, China reduced its CO2 emissions by an amount equal to what the entire United Kingdom produced in that same period.

China leads the world in both coal consumption and CO2 emissions, using 48% of the world’s coal since 2010. In recent years, the country has ordered 1,000 coal mines to close and has cut coal imports by 38%.

As a result, coal consumption has gone down 8% and CO2 emissions have dropped by 5 percent so far this year.Ma Jun App Video Capture 1

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If the decline continues at this rate, China is on track to set the world record for a country cutting CO2 emissions in a single year.

The nation now promises to close the last remaining coal plant in Beijing by the end of next year and slash use of the fossil fuel by 160 million tons over the next five years.

Greenpeace/Energy China crunched the numbers from three different sources to find the results, and found that this is the first time in history any country has reduced both coal use and carbon emissions without an economic downturn.

(READ more at The Independent) Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read, CC

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