China will no longer build new coal-fired power plants overseas. This is what Chinese President Xi Jinping promised in his address to the annual United Nations General Assembly.
Xi gave no further details, but that could mean funding for coal-fired power plants in developing countries will be limited. China is under intense diplomatic pressure to halt offshore coal financing. China’s decision will make it easier for the world to meet the carbon emissions targets of the Paris climate agreement.
“China will increase its support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired energy projects abroad,” Xi said in the pre-recorded video speech. In his speech, he also stressed that China has peaceful intentions in the field of international relations.
US ‘very pleased’
South Korea and Japan have already made similar commitments. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US climate envoy John Kerry urged China to follow the lead of these two Asian countries.
“Accelerating the global coal phase-out is the single most important step in keeping the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target within reach,” Guterres said in a statement.
Kerry said he was pleased with the Chinese president’s announcement. Guterres said there was still “a long way to go” to make the next climate meeting in Glasgow a success.
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