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Will China Be The Force To Take Down The Fossil Fuel Industry?

This position might be controversial, but various indications suggest that the fossil fuel industry’s days are numbered, or at the very least, began a steep declining trend.


The economy of the future is always about more efficiency, cheaper and better performing technologies, and sustainable energy resources that require less intense labor and better waste management regulations, which would effectively cut-down cost. Sooner or later, fossil fuel will be phased out and reduced into relics.

The largest polluters (by CO2 emission), as of June 2017, are:

  1. China: the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world – 10,357 million metric tons of CO2 per year
  2. The US: 5,414 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year
  3. India: 2,274 million metric tons per year
  4. Russia: 1,617 million metric tons per year
  5. Japan: 1,237 million metric tons per year
  6. Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Canada
Air pollution in Shanghai

Air pollution in Shanghai

Since China is the largest contributor to the net global carbon emission, the government recognizes the need for urgent and drastic measures to change policies and regulations. It is not just about the global impact. In China, air pollution levels are extremely high. Some cities have unbreathable air all year long.

The good news is that China is taking the lead to fix the issue. The world’s largest polluter has become the world’s biggest change maker.

This is what China is doing:

War on Fossil Fuel Cars


  • By 2019, automakers selling in China are expected to contribute to a 10% increase in sales of New-Energy Vehicles. This is expected to increase to 12% by 2020.
  • China plans a total ban on traditional fuel vehicles in the long run,
  • Car-makers will receive credits for new-energy vehicles that can be transferred or traded. These credits will be used to calculate if firms have met the quotas.
  • The country plans to make sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars fifth of total national sales by 2025
  • China is supporting the local automakers to create reputable electric vehicles through companies like Geely and BYD
  • The government is calling upon foreign companies to collaborate with their Chinese rivals to create clean vehicles specifically for China in a very short time frame (2018)
  • By the end of 2017, China is expected to have about 800,000 charging stations nationwide, and this number is expected to increase over the coming years.

These measures will have huge implications on the fossil fuel industry and the automotive industry. It is important to note that China has 290 million cars on the road as of 2016, despite the low car ownership rate of about 20% among the Chinese population.

Cars aren’t the only thing on china’s hit list; coal power production is another item on that list.

The War On Coal


Back in January of 2017, China scrapped plans to build 85 new coal power plants. While the Chinese administration does admit that this isn’t enough to combat the serious pollution problem, they said any chance to curb CO2 emissions is a bargaining deal for them.

It is interesting to note that the China didn’t suspend these coal power plants to reduce carbon emission, but the decision comes into place because it would increase the nation’s coal capacity limit. A happy accident, as it turned out.

In 2016, the Chinese government informed various provinces to halt 90% of construction plans of new coal power plants. This isn’t necessarily a fight against the coal power industry; it is to keep a check on how much CO2 these plants emit and, without adding more into the air.

Are we expecting a full-on war on traditional means of getting energy in favor of more sustainable solutions by China?

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