Top Chinese coal industry officials recorded the first drop in mainland production since 2000 last year amid slowing GDP growth; China, the world’s most populous nation, uses more coal than any other country.

China’s National Coal Association reported 3.5 billion coal tons produced in the first 11 months of 2014, a 2.1% decrease year-on-year; estimates of a 2.5% drop are pending this year. Profits for major Chinese coal miners, meanwhile, fell 44% to $18 billion last year, driven by a weak global market.

In Q4, the Beijing government announced plans to cease carbon emission growth by 2030 after facing widespread pressure over air pollution nationwide. With 1.3 billion people, China relies on coal for 80% of its energy and electricity needs.

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