onsdag 22. september 2021

‘Big line in the sand’: China promises no new coal-fired power projects abroad

President Xi Jinping has announced that China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, using his address at the United Nations General Assembly to add to pledges to deal with climate change. Depending on how the policy is implemented, the move could significantly limit the financing of coal plants in the developing world.

China has been under heavy diplomatic pressure to put an end to its coal financing overseas because it could make it easier for the world to stay on course to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions. “China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” Xi said in his pre-recorded video address at the annual UN gathering, in which he stressed China’s peaceful intentions in international relations.

The move follows similar announcements by South Korea and Japan earlier this year. Together, the three countries were responsible for more than 95% of all foreign financing for coal firepower plants, with China making up the bulk, Joanna Lewis, director of science, technology and international affairs at Georgetown University, told the BBC.