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 story : Why China’s Promise to Stop Funding Coal Plants Around the World Is a Really Big Deal #WorldNEWS Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday that China will no longer finance overseas coal

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Why China’s Promise to Stop Funding Coal Plants Around the World Is a Really Big Deal #WorldNEWS
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday that China will no longer finance overseas coal projects—a move that could have far-reaching implications for the worlds ability to meet climate targets.
“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 prerecorded remarks to the United Nations General Assembly.
Experts say the move could mark the beginning of the end of coal as a primary energy source for the world (its currently no. 2, behind oil. ) The caveat, though, is that China and many other nations remain reliant on coal.
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This announcement is a strong sign of coal’s global collapse, says Durand D’Souza, a data scientist with the climate think-tank Carbon Tracker. China is the top financier of new coal power worldwide and the recognition that it is no longer desirable is welcome.
Coal-fired power plants have been a major part of the Belt and Road (BRI) infrastructure beltway, a Xi initiative touted as a modern rendition of the Silk Road. China has financed hundreds of coal projects in countries from Egypt to the Philippines. Chinese state media has defended Chinas past financing of coal plants overseas—especially in countries where reliable electricity is a problem.
But a shift is already underway; China did not fund any coal projects around the world in the first half of 2021, so Xis announcement will turn something that is already happening into a formal policy.
Much of the developing world still faces genuine energy security challenges, says Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace in Beijing. Today’s announcement should propel China to become part of the solution.
China is still reliant on coal
Still, China remains heavily reliant on coal power domestically—and it is the worlds largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The country generated more than 53% of the worlds total coal-fired power in 2020, according to the climate change research group Ember.
And China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 new blast furnaces—equivalent to adding about 1. 5% to its current annual emissions—according to a report released last month by the Helsinki-based research organization the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the U. S. group Global Energy Monitor (GEM).
Read More: China Is Bankrolling Green Energy Projects Around the World
With the new direction set for overseas coal, China needs to work harder now on its domestic coal addiction, says Li, of Greenpeace.
Xi said in April the country will reduce coal use beginning in 2026, and Beijing has set climate targets—pledging to bring its emissions to a peak before 2030, and to make the country carbon neutral by 2060.


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