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Coal Industry in the Middle Reaches of the Yellow River Needs to Shift from Scaled Expansion to Intensive Development in Light of Carbon Reduction Targets (No.110, 2021)

Jul 08,2021

By Xiong Xiaoping, Chang Jiwen, Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies, DRC & Xiao Xinjian, Energy Research Institute of National Development and Reform Commission

Research Report, No.110, 2021 (Total 6175) 2021-5-8

Abstract: The areas in the middle reaches of the Yellow River are featured by a zigzagged landscape and these areas are important coal producing areas. The national coal production and coal consumption continue to concentrate in these areas, which reflect the transformation concepts of traditional resource-based areas characterized by increasing the scale of coal conversion and extending the industrial chains. In light of the carbon reduction targets of achieving peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality i.e. the realization of net zero carbon emissions by 2060, these areas are facing increasing pressure for low-carbon transformation. If efforts are focused on the further conversion of coal consumption mode, these areas will face problems such as poor economic benefits and operation risks, high ecological costs, high dependence on coal economy and high carbon lock-in approach. This paper notes that the above-mentioned areas need to grasp the historical opportunity brought about by deepening the supply-side structural reform of the coal industry, take improving the comprehensive output benefits of coal resources as the major issue, coordinate coal production and transformation, take optimizing coal production and output as the primary task of regional transformation and development, provide overall guidance on the scale of regional coal processing and transformation through environmental protection, water resource utilization and carbon reduction policies, and at the same time, bring into play various preferential policies on coal conversion to further promote the market-based allocation of coal resources.

Keywords: coal conversion, transformation and development, the middle reaches of the Yellow River, areas with a zigzagged landscape