China promises no new coal-fired power plants abroad

President Xi Jinping made the announcement at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly via video, pledging to ‘step up support’ for green and low carbon energy projects in developing countries

Pathway to COP26 report

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a commitment to stop building new coal-fired power plants abroad, a move that will play a critical role in tackling global emissions.

He made the announcement at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly via video, pledging to “step up support” for green and low carbon energy projects in developing countries.

Mr Jinping said: “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.”

China is currently funding coal projects in Indonesia and Vietnam, however, the nation has been under pressure to stop financing them as the world seeks to meet climate goals.

The Chinese leader added the need to improve global environmental governance, actively respond to climate change and “create a community of life for man and nature”.

He said: “We need to accelerate transition to a green and low carbon economy and achieve green recovery and development. China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This requires tremendous hard work and we will make every effort to meet these goals.”

UK COP26 President Alok Sharma welcomed the announcement.

He tweeted: “It is clear the writing is on the wall for coal power.

“I welcome President Xi’s commitment to stop building new coal projects abroad – a key topic of my discussions during my visit to China.

“At #COP26, we must consign coal to history.”

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