China pledges to stop funding overseas coal-fired power plants

XI Jinping made an important announcement during his video address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday, September 21. After recalling that China is committed to achieving carbon neutrality “Before 2060”, the Chinese president said that “China will no longer build new coal-fired power plants abroad”.

China is not only the largest consumer of coal but, “It remains the last major provider of public funding for projects [de développement du] coal overseas since Japan and South Korea recently pledged not to finance coal ”, recently declared the European think-tank E3G. According to him, the end of Chinese funding would facilitate the cancellation of “Over 40 GW of pipeline projects in twenty countries”.

On September 14, 35 non-governmental organizations from thirteen countries (Asia, Africa, Europe) sent an open letter to Liu Jin, president of the Bank of China, whom they accuse of being the main global investor in this major source. pollution.

Since the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the bank has invested more than $ 35 billion (around € 30 billion) in coal-fired power projects around the world. Projects mainly carried out within the framework of the “new silk roads”, this major project of Chinese investments throughout the world.

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According to E3G, 44 countries have already committed to a “no new coal” policy, canceling, since the Paris agreement, 1,175 GW of coal-related projects. According to E3G, China’s commitment should lead to the abandonment of 55% of coal-fired power plant projects.

Promise of carbon neutrality before 2060

John Kerry, Joe Biden’s “Mr. Climate”, visited China from August 31 to September 3. He had declared that he “Is clear that new coal-fired power stations represent a major challenge for the world’s efforts to face the climate challenge”. At the end of the meetings with the Chinese leaders, they seemed to link their cooperation with the United States in this area to the improvement of their relations on other subjects.

Already in 2020, it was before the UN General Assembly that Xi Jinping pledged that China will achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. He has therefore taken a further step this year, also specifying that the China was going “Increase its support to other emerging countries so that they develop green and low-carbon energy”.

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