China is ordering its miners to extract as much coal as possible in response to a growing energy crisis in the country. All coal mines in the country are being commanded to provide as much as they possibly can to expand the stockpile ahead of a potential winter crisis. Chinese coal prices have hit record highs as demand continues to exceed supply due to a reopening of the economy. The problem is intimately tied to the larger supply chain issues facing many countries currently.
China expands coal production
There are a number of causes behind the Chinese power shortage which have built up and come together to create the sudden desperation for fossil fuels.
One of the major causes illustrates the global interdependence which has allowed bottlenecks in certain countries to disrupt the supply chain internationally.
China imports much of its coal from Australia. Restrictions and lockdowns in that country have drastically cut down the amount of coal available for export.
Heavy rain in coal mining regions within China has been another contributing factor, along with at least one fatal mine collapse.
An order to drastically speed up production and keep mines open continuously is unlikely to do much to prevent further accidents but worker safety has never been the highest priority for the Chinese coal mining industry.
While the stockpile is increasing thanks to the orders, China is still rationing electricity in some regions and raising the price of fossil fuels for manufacturers.
Asian energy crisis
A massive increase in coal production will probably not be happy news amongst climate activists but this is nothing new for that field of social crusaders.
The vast majority of carbon emissions worldwide come from Asia and Africa, rather than the Western countries which receive the bulk of the attention in relation to the issue.
China itself has never really felt any obligation to stick to any promises it makes about gradually lowering fossil fuel usage.
When it comes to the Chinese economy the country is not taking any chances just to appease liberals in the United States and Europe.
India appears to be facing a similar disruption to its power supply, though the Indian government is dismissing these concerns.
Needless to say, any great slackening in the economies of India or China which is caused by the shortage could have a significant impact on the global economy.