China has announced that it would not build any new coal-fired power plants outside of China, a decision that might be critical in reducing global emissions.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping made the statement.
China has been supporting coal projects in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam as part of its Belt and Road plan, a major infrastructure project.
However, as the world strives to fulfill the Paris climate agreement’s objectives, it has come under pressure to discontinue the financing.
“China will increase its assistance for other developing nations in developing green and low-carbon energy, and it will not build new coal-fired power projects overseas,” Mr. Xi said in a video message at the annual summit.
The decision might hinder the growth of coal plants in many developing nations under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, however no additional specifics were offered (BRI).
China has funded railways, roads, ports, and coal plants in a number of countries, many of which are developing nations, as part of the BRI. However, it did not fund any coal projects in the first half of 2021 for the first time in recent years.
China is also the world’s greatest producer of greenhouse gases, and its domestic energy demands are mostly met by coal.
Mr. Xi referred to last year’s assurances that China will reach peak emissions by 2030 and then move to carbon neutrality by 2060.
In a statement, US Climate Envoy John Kerry expressed his satisfaction at President Xi’s decision, stating, “extremely thrilled to learn that President Xi has made this critical decision.”
The head of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, which will be held in Scotland next month, praised the news as well.
“The future of coal power is clearly written on the wall. I applaud President Xi’s resolve to halt the construction of new coal plants overseas, which was a major topic of conversation during my visit to China “On Twitter, Alok Sharma stated.
A Deeper Analysis
This is the announcement that China is likely to make in the near future.
Coal-fired power plants have been a prominent element of Xi Jinping’s befuddlingly titled Belt and Road Initiative of foreign investment for over a decade.
The fact is that the quantity of these initiatives has drastically decreased.
Important aspects must be clarified; when will this take effect? Will it encompass new power plants that have been sanctioned but have yet to be built? Will China also cease funding new coal-fired power plants in other countries?
This is progress, but in terms of China’s coal addiction, it’s the low-hanging fruit.
China consumes half of all coal produced worldwide. It is still building a slew of new coal-fired power plants in the United States, each with a lifespan of 40 to 50 years.
The most pressing concern is when will this country begin to lower the overall number of people living inside its boundaries and significantly reduce its reliance on the most polluting source of energy generation?