The Chinese government has decided to put a halt to financing and building coal-fired power projects as part of its new initiative to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

When addressing the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video Tuesday, Chinese president Xi Jinping said that China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, pledging to accelerate its transition to a green and low-carbon economy and achieve green recovery and development.

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“China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” he said.

Xi’s latest rhetoric is another commitment China has made to cope with the global climate change.

Xi announced a year ago that China would strive to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

“This requires tremendous hard work, and we will make every effort to meet these goals,” he said.

Visiting professor Tong Jiangqiao at Finance and Development Research Centre of Qinhua University said that most of China’s overseas coal for power projects are located in south and south-east Asian countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

A report by Global Development Policy Center at Boston University shows that from 2013 to 2019, China invested in and built 13% of the world’s total coal-for-power projects, with a combined total capacity of 68.8 gigawatts.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government decided to curb its domestic coal-fired power expansion.

In the first half of this year, the government has reduced newly-approved coal-fired units in the pipeline to 5.2 GW, down by 78.8% from the same period last year, the non-government environment organisation Greenpeace said in its latest research report.