...In the last six years, the Chinese coal industry, with reserves put at more than 1 trillion tonnes, has doubled production to more than 1.2bn tonnes a year. The country is now building 550 coal-fired power stations - opening at the equivalent of two a week - and in the five years to 2005, electricity generation rose 150%.
...China is well aware of its impact on climate change. Its Himalayan glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate, its deserts are encroaching on cities in the north-west, and rivers are drying up as a result of temperature rises and over-exploitation. According to the Worldwatch Institute thinktank in Washington, Chinese air pollution from coal-burning cost its economy more than $63bn (£31bn) in 2004, or roughly 3% of GDP.
From The Guardian