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Despite COP26 rhetoric, China's coal production is hitting all-time highs

Chinese officials reported Monday that their coal production surged to its highest level in years, the same day that officials in India's capital readied a shutdown due to air pollution, a one-two punch from the developing world that showed the difficulty of combating global warming just after the end of a landmark U.N. conference.

During the two-week meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, known as COP26, the United States and China struck a surprise deal to cooperate on climate issues. The two countries said they would "raise ambition" over the next decade. Foto: Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP

The burst of bad news for the climate coincided with a Monday virtual summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where Biden plans to enlist China's help in averting a drastic worldwide temperature rise.

But the recent boost in coal production by the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter shows Biden may have little leverage over the developing world's use of fossil fuels, analysts said. Spurred by high natural gas prices, Beijing appears to be readying to burn dirtier, cheaper coal to ease its citizens' economic pain as cold weather sets in...

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