China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, accounting for nearly half of the world's total annual coal consumption. While coal is the main energy source for China's economic development, it has also caused serious damage to the environment and public health. In recent years, large areas of China have experienced frequent and severe air pollution in the form of thick smog, which poses a grave threat to public health.
In response to climate change and air pollution, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) launched a China Coal Consumption Cap Project in October 2013. The project brings together 20-plus leading Chinese stakeholders, including government think tanks, research institutes, and industry associations, to develop a comprehensive roadmap and policy package for establishing and implementing a binding national coal consumption cap that aims to help China reduce its coal consumption. Accelerating the replacement of coal with energy efficiency and cleaner energy sources will fundamentally help China achieve its long-term economic, environmental, and climate goals.