China has announced that no new coal-fired power plants will be built outside of the country. President Xi Jinping made the statement during his presentation to the United Nations General Assembly. As part of its Belt and Road Initiative program, which is a massive infrastructure project, China has been supporting coal projects in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam. However, as the globe works to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement, pressure is mounting to end the funding. “China will enhance its support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” Mr. Xi stated in a video clip shown during the annual summit.

Under BRI, China has supported railroads, roads, ports, and coal plants in a number of countries, many of which are developing states. For the first time in several years, it did not fund any coal projects in the first half of 2021. China is also the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and coal is used to provide the majority of its domestic energy needs. Mr. Xi was referring to statements made last year that China would reach peak emissions by 2030 and then transition to carbon neutrality by 2060.