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Cities will be key to a low carbon, resilient global economy able to address and adapt to climate change. Many are emerging as leaders cutting emissions and greening infrastructure. Photo ©Pline

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In a further indication that China is taking action to deal with hazardously high levels of air pollution, Beijing plans to ban coal sales and use in its six main districts and other regions by the end of 2020.

The districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan will stop using coal and its related products, and coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities will be closed. Other high-pollution fuels such as fuel oil, petroleum coke, combustible waste and some biomass fuel will also be banned.

Read Xinhua article

With growing global recognition of the need for greenhouse gas emissions to peak in the next decade, the attractiveness of burning fossil fuels is in decline. A research paper entitled Carbon Constraints Cast A Shadow Over The Future Of The Coal Industry just published by Standard & Poors’ coal analysts with input from Carbon Tracker and Aviva explores the impacts of declining coal prices on the creditworthiness of the coal industry. For more detailed information on China, read Carbon Tracker's report The Great Coal Cap: China’s energy policies and the financial implications for thermal coal.

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Photo by Kentucky Photo File

The World Coal Association hosted the International Coal & Climate Summit in Warsaw on 18-19 November 2013 to discuss the role of coal in the global economy in the context of the climate change agenda. Speaking at the opening of the summit, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said the coal industry can and must radically transform and diversify to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Read speech by Christiana Figueres

China’s efforts to tackle air pollution include investing heavily in renewable energies, which is slowing the country's carbon emissions. For the second year, an annual Pew Charitable Trusts report entitled Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? shows that China is the world leader in clean energy investment, with $54 billion in investments in renewables in 2013.

Photo by Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen

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