Coal Environmental Cost: 2.3x Environmental Protection Expense

by China Water Risk 14 July, 2014

13 July, 2014, MEP-Environmental Planning Institute and the Energy Foundation China’s Report “Coal External Environment Cost Accounting Schemes & Internalizationreveals that the external environmental costs of coal in 2010 amounts to RMB555.54 billion (~USD89.5 billion), 2.3 times of the 2010’s total environmental protection expenditures from public finance:

  • The impacts on general public health due to air pollution and health of mine workers amounts to RMB305.1 billion, 55% of the total environmental cost:
    • Impact on general public health due to air pollution: RMB211.7 billion
    • Impact on health of mine workers: RMB93.4 billion
  • Environmental external costs per tonne of coal is RMB204.76, equivalent to 28% of the coal price in 2010, whereas the per tonne costs for coal production, transportation and use are RMB68, RMB52 and RMB85, respectively.
  • The other impacts include deforestation, reduction in agricultural production, rail transportation environment pollution, groundwater contamination and soil erosion, etc.

25 June, 2014 – Separately, Beijing will enforce the use of cleaner low-sulphur coal from 1 August 2014. This is the first time China has enforced the use of low-sulphur coal across all industries.