China doubles down on coal plants abroad despite carbon pledge at home

DM

China will press ahead with its multi-billion-dollar financing of coal plants in developing countries, a top climate official said Tuesday, despite Beijing’s stated aim of slashing carbon emissions. In 2020, China opened three-quarters of the world’s newly funded coal plants, according to the UK-based monitor CarbonBrief, and accounted for more than 80 percent of newly announced coal power projects. At home, however, President Xi Jinping has pledged to wean China off coal with a peak carbon emissions target of 2030 — and achieve carbon neutrality thirty years later. Those ambitious targets have been met with international praise. But China’s overseas drive shows the complexity of untwining the economic drivers of coal power from environmental concerns.

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