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Coal production: U.S. vs. China and India in climate debate part 2

On 1st June of 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord (PCA) portraying the deal to be an unfair one American people and American workers. There has been a furor among global media of the President’s decision as well as from global leaders many of whom like the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron spoken publicly against the decision.

One of the key arguments of the United States has been that while the United States would have to put restrictions on the production of fuels like coal, oil, etc., countries like India and China would have to abide by no commitments for many years to come. So, in this article, we try to see how big is the issue of United States’ production of coal compared to India and China.

A simple analysis of the data from British Petroleum strongly suggests that the United States does have a point, especially in the case of China. Chinese coal production has surpassed that of the United States back in 1985 and in 2016, China produced more than five times than that of the United States, despite the fact that Chinese coal production declined since 2013. Even India has surpassed the United States in the production in 2016. U.S. coal production peaked in 2008 and since then, it has declined by 38 percent. We expect the trend to continue, though, there might be brief respite over President Trump’s promise to revive coal.

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