China has pledged to not build any new coal-fire energy plants abroad, a move that could be pivotal in tackling global emissions.
President Xi Jinping made the announcement in his address at the United Nations General Assembly.
China has been funding coal projects in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam under a massive infrastructure project known as the Belt and Road initiative.
But it has been under pressure to end the financing, as the world tries to meet Paris climate agreement targets.
But half of all coal burned worldwide is burned inside China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases globally.
BBC China correspondent, Robin Brant, says while this pledge is enough for those who are calling for “clear and tangible” direction from China in the run up to the Cop26 in Glasgow later this year, he is critical that President Xi Jinping is choosing an easy carbon goal to pledge towards.
Robin Brant calls China’s relationship with carbon an “addiction”, and points to the fact that China is still adding new coal and steel power stations inside its own borders.
So, is this a step in the right direction? Or could China be doing much more for the planet?
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