China pledges to stop building overseas coal-fired power plants: Explanation

Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, said on Tuesday that his country stop building coal-fired power plants abroad, a major shift by the wor...


Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, said on Tuesday that his country stop building coal-fired power plants abroad, a major shift by the world’s second-largest economy to move away from its support for fossil fuels.

China “will not build new overseas coal-fired power projects,” he said the United Nations General Assembly this Tuesday.

The news comes amid a large international effort to reduce coal use and prevent global temperatures from rising at their current rate, which scientists say could be disastrous.

The announcement of China, which is by far the largest domestic producer of coal and the largest funder of coal-fired power plants in the world, was greeted with caution by experts.

“Now all of the major public coal financiers have sent the signal that they are moving away from overseas coal,” said Kevin P. Gallagher, professor of global development policy at Boston University, who has been regular China’s global energy finance. “China’s announcement could be a step towards them catalyzing green transformations.”

Last year, China built more than three times as much new coal-fired power generation capacity as all the rest of the world combined – “more than one large coal-fired power plant per week”. according to estimates of the Energy and Clean Air Research Center in Finland.

China’s net coal-fired electric capacity build in the country increased by 29.8 gigawatts, essentially wiping out gains in the rest of the world, where net coal-fired electric capacity fell by 17.2 gigawatts, according to the Center. .

Just power 750,000 households Where 110 million LED bulbs, according to experts, or almost a DeLorean traveling through time.

Currently more than a dozen countries, mainly in Asia.

China’s main sources of financing for the construction of coal-fired power stations, the Development Bank of China and the Import-Export Bank of China, have poured $ 51.6 billion into coal-fired power plants around the world, according to a Boston University Tracker.

Most of it, over $ 34.4 billion, is in Asia, according to the tracker.

Indonesia is China’s largest coal partner, with 21 projects and around $ 9.3 billion in investment, followed by Vietnam, which has 13 projects and $ 8.8 billion in investment, according to the tracker. .

Pakistan has seven Chinese-funded coal-fired power plants with $ 4.5 billion. Other countries with China-funded coal power plants include South Africa, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Russia and Turkey, to name a few.

Domestically, China produces about 1,200 gigawatts of energy from coal, according to Greenpeace China. The coal-fired power plants he helped build overseas produce less than 100 gigawatts, the group said.

Xi’s announcement was not about domestic production. And the country’s latest five-year development plan, approved earlier this year, expands construction of coal-fired power plants in the country for years to come.

There are around 40 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plant projects in 20 different countries that are in various stages of development, according to Li Shuo, policy adviser at Greenpeace China.

For some host countries, partnering with China is the only way to get energy from their own coal supply, he said. This is because China has a lot of money, the steel plants that are needed to make coal-fired power plants, and the engineering expertise that many other countries do not have.

“The host country might never be able to carry out these projects,” Li said. “For some it is a breach of agreement. If you don’t have Chinese support, you won’t have these plans.

South Korea and Japan have been the two biggest proponents of overseas coal-fired power plants after China. In April, South Korea announcement plans to stop funding such projects. In May, Japan also done. In light of this, China’s role in financing overseas power plants “would only grow,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst at the Clean Air and Energy Research Center, an organization of research.

Plans to build coal-fired power plants have also been abandoned (South Africa), reconsidered (Bangladesh) and faced with funding problems (Vietnam).

When Xi said China “will not build new overseas coal-fired power projects,” he did not say whether he was talking only about the government, or whether he included private companies as well. in China, asked Mr. Li of Greenpeace.

He also said the statement did not specify whether the moratorium on “construction” meant more funding, or whether the new policy would apply to projects that have already been proposed, approved or under construction.

Mr. Li said he would like to have more clarity on these issues in the coming weeks.

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Newsrust - US Top News: China pledges to stop building overseas coal-fired power plants: Explanation
China pledges to stop building overseas coal-fired power plants: Explanation
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