Stock Groups

In climate pledge, Xi says China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen at the welcoming ceremony of Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the Greek President, outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (China), May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

By Valerie Volcovici, David Brunnstrom and Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -Chinese leader Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, using his address at the United Nations General Assembly to add to pledges to deal with climate change.

Although Xi did not provide any details, it is possible that the new policy could severely limit financing for coal-fired power plants in developing countries, depending on the implementation of the policy.

China was under pressure diplomatically to end its overseas coal finance. This could help the world meet the Paris climate accord goals to cut carbon emissions.

Xi’s move follows similar ones by South Korea (and Japan) earlier this year. U.N. SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres, John Kerry and U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry urged China that it follow in the footsteps of their Asian counterparts.

Xi stated that China will support other countries developing low- and green-carbon energy and would not invest in new coal-fired power plants abroad. He made this statement in a prerecorded video speech at the U.N. annual gathering. In which he highlighted China’s peace intentions in international relations.

Kerry welcomed Xi’s announcement quickly, calling it a “great contribution” and a great start to efforts to reach success at the Oct. 31-Nov. 12, COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, Scotland.

“We’ve been talking to China for quite some period of time about this. And I’m absolutely delighted to hear that President Xi has made this important decision,” Kerry said in a statement.

Alok Sharma (head of COP26) also praised the announcement.

It is evident that the time is now 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,” he said on Twitter (NYSE:).

Xi spoke shortly after Joe Biden, the U.S. president, gave his first United Nations address. Biden described a new period of fierce competition, without the need for a Cold War, despite China’s rise. {nL1N2QN1BX]

In a measured speech, Xi made no direct mention of China’s often bitter rivalry with the United States, where the Biden administration has made policies on climate change mitigation a top priority and sought to cooperate with Beijing.

Xi repeatedly pledged that China will achieve a reduction in carbon dioxide and neutrality by 2060, as he did last year.

Experts have expressed concern that these targets were not ambitious enough. However, they allowed Beijing to take moral high ground regarding the issue following the withdrawal of President Donald Trump from the Paris Climate Agreement.

China is currently the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. It still relies heavily on coal for its energy needs.

Biden made one of his first decisions upon taking office in January to assert U.S. leadership regarding climate change and to return the United States back to the Paris Agreement.

China was the last standing man. Xi promised that if there is no coal finance from China there will be little or no global expansion.

Guterres enjoyed both Xi’s action on coal and Biden’s promise to collaborate with the U.S. Congress in order to increase funds to developing countries to combat climate change by increasing them from $11.4 billion annually to $222.4 billion by 2024.

In a statement, he stated that Accelerating the global removal of coal was the key to achieving the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target.


Hours earlier, without mentioning China by name, Biden said democracy would not be defeated by authoritarianism.

Biden stated that the future belongs to those who allow their citizens to breathe freely, and not to those who try to oppress their people.

He said that all people must condemn and call attention to the persecution and targeting of racial and ethnic minorities. This refers to western China, where there are several camps set up for Uyghurs as well as other Muslim minorities. China denied any abuses committed in Xinjiang.

Relations between two of the largest countries in the world have fallen to their lowest level for decades. These issues range from human rights to the transparency regarding the origins COVID-19.

Xi stated that it was necessary to reject the “practice of forming small circle or zero-sum gaming,” a reference to the U.S.-led quad forum consisting of Australia, India and Japan. This is a way to counter China’s rising, and will be held at the leader level in Washington.

China has warned that there will be an increase in regional arms races. This was after Australia and Britain announced the Indo-Pacific security alliance (called AUKUS). It provides Australia with technology and capabilities to operate nuclear-powered submarines.

Although Biden has suffered a bad image due to America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last week, he said that the United States will be able to focus its resources on the Indo-Pacific now that America has ended the longest conflict.

“Military intervention by the outside” and the so-called democratic transition “entail nothing other than harm,” Xi stated, apparently in a swipe at the United States.