Chinese President Xi Jinping has used a speech at the UN General Assembly to announce a major step forward in controlling global emissions. After Xi reaffirmed his country’s climate commitments, China will begin to make it easier to control emissions to other countries – new support for renewable energy projects and the construction of coal plants.
As part of China’s foreign policy efforts, it is financing a number of infrastructure projects in developing economies. These often have side effects involving Chinese companies and engineers. When these projects were involved in the production of electricity, they often found coal in China. Thus, in the developing world, the number of coal plants planned for construction is large and raises legal questions about the prospect of meeting any global carbon emissions target.
China has pledged to increase its emissions by the end of this decade and reach carbon neutrality by 2060. So far, however, Development Bank has continued to finance coal mines, and their companies often build them. “China will continue to support other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” he said in a statement released by the United Nations today.
It was the full size of the words then, so it leaves a lot of details about the timing and size of the stop. The important thing is how much they must be before they can allow projects to continue.
The action is meaningful to all concerned. Renewable energy is now the cheapest option on almost every planet, and China produces a lot of hardware for solar and wind power. It follows similar decisions in Japan and South Korea. These decisions could put a huge strain on the number of coal plants built and severely limit the future export market.