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China is poised to build hundreds of new coal-burning power plants in the coming decades. Their combined emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide could largely exceed current UK emissions.

In this letter to Nature, Jon Gibbins of the Energy Technology for Sustainable Development Group at Imperial College, London, argues that these plants should be built to be 'carbon capture ready'.

This means making them in such a way that it would be possible to later add technology for capturing and storing the plant's carbon emissions, at a minimal additional cost.

Gibbins says that enabling the new plants in this way would add negligible amounts to the initial cost, but could be financially — and environmentally — advantageous.

Link to full letter in Nature 

Read more about this topic in our spotlight on 'China and climate change'