Xi in UN general debate: China: “no new coal-fired power plants abroad”

Xi in UN general debate: China: "no new coal-fired power plants abroad"

Xi in the United Nations General Debate
China: “No new coal power plants abroad”

The state-owned Bank of China is considered the world’s largest financier of coal projects. Now the head of state, Xi Jinping, has announced a turning point. China no longer wants to build coal-fired power plants – at least not overseas.

In the fight against global warming, China will no longer build coal-fired power plants abroad, according to head of state Xi Jinping. “China will extend its support to other developing countries in the development of green and low-carbon energy,” Xi said at the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. China “will not build any new coal-fired power plants abroad”. When it comes to economic development, the focus should be on the “harmony between people and nature”, Xi said in his video address.

China is currently pursuing infrastructure and other construction projects in several countries as part of its new Silk Road project – and is also open to coal power. State-owned Bank of China is itself the world’s largest financier of coal projects and has invested about $35 billion in the sector since the Paris Agreement in 2015, according to a group of non-governmental organizations.

368 new power plants planned

China – the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases – is also investing heavily in domestic coal power to secure economic growth. Last year coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 38.4 GW were connected to the grid. The country is also planning 368 new power plants with a capacity of 187 gigawatts, according to a report by the Carbon Tracker expert group in June.

The Chinese government has announced that it will reduce CO2 emissions before 2030. The country should be CO2 neutral by 2060.

The Paris Climate Protection Agreement, passed in late 2015, aims to limit global warming to below two degrees compared to the pre-industrial era and is considered a milestone in the fight against climate change. A recently published United Nations report sees the Earth on a dangerous path of warming by 2.7 degrees without a radical change in direction. The next climate conference COP26 will take place in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October to 12 November.

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