CHINA: Coal cost $248B in hidden expenses in ‘07
Oct 29, 2008 - Greenpeace
Climatewire: China’s use of coal power in 2007 cost
the country $248 billion in health care costs, environmental
damages and government subsidies, according to a report
released Monday by Greenpeace.
The $248 billion figure — equivalent to 7.1 percent
of China’s gross domestic product — represents additional
social costs imposed by coal but does not include
purchases of coal or spending on infrastructure. It
also does not include the future costs of climate
change caused by the carbon dioxide emissions from
coal use, Greenpeace said.
has calculated the costs,” said Han Xiaoping, senior
vice president of Beijing Falcon Pioneer Technology
Co., an energy consulting firm. “We are shouldering
the costs and the whole world is shouldering the costs.”
Coal accounts for more than 70 percent of China’s
energy use and is heavily subsidized by the government.
Greenpeace is pushing for the subsidies to be removed
and the price to be set by the market, saying the
market price would encourage increases in energy efficiency
and exploration of alternative technologies. The report
also advises China to phase in taxes on coal to compensate
for social damages.
China’s coal mines are the world’s deadliest; an
average of 13 miners die per day — 70 times the death
rate in American mines (AP/CNN.com, Oct. 29). – PR