Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in a speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, has pledged to stop the financing of new coal power plants overseas, but stopped short of ending support for the fossil fuel within China, reports the Financial Times. China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and accounts for the majority of new coal projects around the world. Coal also forms the majority of the country’s electricity mix.
Xi reiterated the country’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, as he spoke remotely at the opening meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” he said.
Climate change experts had hoped that China would choose the UN General Assembly to step-up in the effort to limit global warming. It was at the 2020 UNGA that Xi made the unexpected announcement that China would aim for its CO2 emissions to peak by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.