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 the country’s pledges to combat climate change.
Xi provided no details, but depending on how the policy is implemented, the move could significantly limit the financing of coal plants in the developing world.
China has been under heavy diplomatic pressure to put an end to its coal financing overseas, a move that could make it easier for the world to stay on course to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
Xi’s announcement came after South Korea and Japan made similar moves earlier this year.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US climate envoy John Kerry have urged China to follow the lead of its Asian counterparts.
“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,” Xi said in his pre-recorded video address at the annual UN gathering, in which he stressed China’s peaceful intentions in international relations.
Xi spoke after US President Joe Biden gave his first United Nations address. He mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War despite China’s ascendance.