UN: China promises to stop new overseas coal projects amid climate crisis

China will not build any new overseas coal-fired power projects, Xi said in a recorded speech. The wish marks a policy shift around its sprawling Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, which had already started scaling back its coal initiatives.

China will also increase its financial support for green and low-carbon energy projects in other developing countries, he said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders earlier today to show solidarity and act on the climate crisis, warning that humanity was on track for a “hellish landscape” of rising temperatures that would lead to “catastrophe”. At the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Guterres called on countries to end fossil fuel subsidies, end the use of coal, invest in renewable energy and tax carbon and pollution “instead of people’s income”.

“The climate alarm bells are also ringing at their peak,” he said. “The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was a code red for humanity. We are seeing the warning signs on every continent and region: scorching temperatures, shocking biodiversity loss, air, water and polluted natural spaces. “

China still has work to do on the climate at home, admitted Xi Jinping, reiterating his previous commitment to “strive” to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

“It takes hard work and we will do everything we can,” said the Chinese leader.

China’s decarbonization target by 2060 is still a decade behind those of the United States and the European Union.
Coal is also China’s main source of energy by far. China consumed more coal than all other countries in the world combined in 2020, a Ember research group study show. It accounted for 58% of the country’s energy demand in 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In his own address to the assembly, US President Joe Biden announced he would work with Congress to again double the US financial commitment to support developing countries. Biden pledged in April that the United States would increase its contribution to global climate finance to $ 5.7 billion per year, bringing his new pledge to around $ 11 billion per year.
“In April, I announced that the United States would double our public international funding to help developing countries cope with the climate crisis, and today I am proud to announce that we will work with Congress to double that number again, including for adaptation efforts, “Biden said.
More than ten years ago, world leaders in developed countries agreed to contribute $ 100 billion a year to support countries in the South facing the most direct impacts of climate, a goal that has been missed. In 2019, developed countries contributed $ 79.6 billion to developing countries, about $ 20 billion less than the annual target of $ 100 billion, according to a recent report. Report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The United States has also been criticized for not transferring money under the Trump administration; Trump withdrew the United States from its global climate finance commitments when he withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. Under the Obama administration, the United States paid $ 1 billion out of a $ 3 billion pledge it originally made in 2014.

Even with Biden’s new engagement, U.S. allies are contributing more to the effort. For example, the European Union transfers around 25 billion euros per year (the equivalent of 29.3 billion dollars).

The assembly is the last major international event before world leaders meet again at the G20 in Rome in October, immediately followed by the United Nations climate conference in Scotland.

Biden's spending bill could be Democrats' last hope for meaningful climate action as crisis deepens

“We are weeks away from the UN climate conference in Glasgow, but seemingly light years away from reaching our goals,” Guterres said. “We have to be serious and we have to act quickly.”

Guterres’ speech revealed his growing impatience and frustration with leaders. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – whose government has authorized rampant deforestation in the Amazon – also speaks on Tuesday.

The UN chief’s speech and his strident new tone comes as Guterres prepares to launch his next five-year term as UN Secretary-General. He also intervenes in a global political landscape that has itself become more moderate since the departure of former US President Donald Trump.

The Secretary-General and President Biden met briefly Monday night at the Biden Hotel in Manhattan, with a discussion that “reaffirmed the strong partnership between the United Nations and the United States, anchored in shared principles and values.” , said Guterres’ office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.