Xi says China will no longer build coal plants abroad

Xi says China will no longer build coal plants abroad
© Getty Images

China, a major financier of the coal industry worldwide, will no longer build new coal plants abroad, the country’s president announced Tuesday. 

“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,” President Xi Jinping said in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

But the country is still expected to use coal domestically. Coal makes up more than half of China's energy supply.


Xi has previously said he expects China to reach its peak emissions by 2030 — a period during which other countries including the U.S., will seek to reduce their emissions — and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. 

China, the world’s most populous country and the largest emitter of emissions, is facing international pressure to step up its climate commitments ahead of a major UN climate summit in November.

U.S. Climate Envoy John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Walrus detectives: Scientists recruit public to spot mammal from space 12 top U.S. officials to join Biden at major climate conference MORE said in April that China wasn’t doing enough on climate despite a pledge to start phasing out its coal consumption in the coming years.

Coal is more carbon-intensive, meaning it contributes more emissions to the atmosphere than other fossil fuels like oil and gas when burned.