This week, President Joe Biden gathered forty heads of state for the Leaders Summit on Climate to build momentum towards November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Nearly every world leader at the Summit announced updates to their countries’ climate policies and more ambitious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement.
Despite its growing role in sustainable development finance—President Xi Jinping reiterated at the summit that ecological cooperation is a key aspect of China’s Belt and Road Initiative—China made no promises to end coal financing abroad, even as Japan and South Korea, the second and third largest financiers of overseas coal power plants, take ambitious steps to stop funding overseas coal plants as part of their new climate change agendas. China, the world’s largest financier of overseas coal, is now the odd man out. Reducing global emissions cannot be achieved without moving away from coal. A pledge from China to end its financing for overseas coal plants would be a major boon to international climate efforts.
The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest.
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