The world will need to shut down nearly 3,000 coal-fired power plants before 2030 if it is to have a chance of keeping temperature rises within 1.5 Celsius, according to research by climate think tank TransitionZero.
TransitionZero said there are currently more than 2,000 GW of coal-fired power in operation across the world, and that needs to be slashed by nearly half, requiring the closure of nearly one unit per day from now until the end of the decade.
The need to close nearly 1,000 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity would put the onus on China - the world's biggest source of climate-warming greenhouse gas and owner of around half of the world's coal-fuelled plants - to accelerate its shift towards cleaner electricity.
"The logical conclusion is that half of the effort will need to come from China," said Matt Gray, TransitionZero analyst and author of the report. "I think it is fair to say that keeping the lights on and keeping buildings warm will be the exclusive priority of the Chinese government coming into winter," he said. "But our hope is for this crisis to be seen as a wake-up call for being reliant on coal-fired power."