China’s no new coal power overseas pledge, one year on

(China Dialogue, 22 Sep 2022) Reform of investment and financing models still needed in order to better support green transitions

On 21 September 2021, China’s president, Xi Jinping, told the UN General Assembly via video link that China would increase support for green and low-carbon energy in developing countries, and not build any new coal-fired power projects overseas.

The move reflected a wider backing away from coal among traditional and emerging aid donors. Two of Asia’s main exporters of coal power projects, Korea and Japan, had made similar statements in June 2021. The month after Xi’s announcement, OECD members said they would no longer offer export credit support for coal power plants unless plans to abate emissions were in place.

China has been a major builder of coal power plants around the world, often providing both the finance and the technology. Its decision is having and will have a profound effect, both at home and in expanding the low-carbon development and energy transition paths of developing nations.

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China Dialogue, 22 Sep 2022: China’s no new coal power overseas pledge, one year on