NYT: China to Place Limit on Coal Use in 2020
This New York Times article describes China’s plans to cap coal use by 2020 and total CO2 emissions by 2030. What is not mentioned is that China’s one child per family policy has led to a population pyramid that will mean a huge number of workers retiring in the next few years, with not enough replacement workers to fill their jobs. This labour shortage will increase wages and accelerate the “re-shoring” of manufacturing to the western world as automated factories become more cost effective than Chinese labour. The result could be a large economic slowdown for China, including a decrease in energy consumption. At the same time, solar and wind power will continue to be more cost competitive and may replace much of the coal use worldwide. This will hopefully lead to a reduction in coal use even more quickly than China has planned.
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