We need to be doing something about coal:
This piece was spotted by a correspondent on the the Quartz website – and looks at the bigger picture of investment in coal worldwide:
THE BELT AND ROAD’S DECARBONIZATION DILEMMA
AS THE WORLD’S LARGEST COAL CONSUMER TURNS TO RENEWABLES, CHINESE COAL FINANCING CONTINUES ABROAD
DOMESTICALLY, CHINA HAS BEEN AN UNEXPECTED LEADER IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRESS. To reduce air pollution, the government has shuttered dozens of coal facilities, while subsidizing solar and wind globally. And President Xi Jinping aims to cut coal’s share of the country’s total energy capacity to 50% by 2030.
But abroad, we see a different trend. More than 70% of all coal plants built today are reliant on Chinese funding. Since 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has committed over USD $50 billion in state finance to building 26.8 Gigawatts of overseas coal facilities across 152 countries. That’s just the beginning.
This isn’t a definitive future. Even with committed financing, fewer and fewer coal plants are reaching completion. Many will likely be cancelled mid-process due to public opposition, legal challenges, investors’ cold feet, and possibly greater environmental commitments from President Xi Jinping himself, who’s expressed a need for a Green BRI.