Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, said on Tuesday that his country would stop building coal-burning power plants overseas, a major shift by the world’s second-biggest economy to move away from its support of the fossil fuel.
China “will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” he told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. The news comes amid a broad international effort to reduce coal use and to keep global temperatures from rising at their current pace, which scientists have warned could be disastrous.
The announcement by China, which is by far the biggest domestic producer of coal and the largest financier of coal-fired power plants around the world, was cautiously welcomed by experts.
“Now all the major public financiers of coal have sent the signal that they are moving away from overseas coal,” said Kevin P. Gallagher, a professor of global development policy at Boston University, who has been tracking China’s global energy financing.
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