Emissions from China-invested overseas coal plants equal to Spain

Fossil fuels produce about half the energy of China-backed power plants abroad, a new study shows.

Carbon dioxide emissions from China-invested power plants abroad are now estimated to be 245 million tons per year, about the same as the annual energy-related CO2 emissions of countries the size of Spain or Thailand, new research shows.

Chinese companies and government-led investment banks have funded a total of 171.6 gigawatts of overseas power generation capacity, representing a total of 648 power plants in 92 countries, new research from Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center found on Tuesday.

“While China has taken steps to decarbonise its overseas investments, more can be done to decarbonize China’s global power, including a particular focus on the decarbonisation of Asia, where most of the generation capacity is financed by China and more than 50 percent is coal-based,” Center said in his report


About half of that total capacity of China-backed electricity generation abroad is related to fossil fuels, and the pipeline of projects could add another 100 million tons in annual CO2 emissions when all are completed, said Cecilia Springer, a researcher. researcher at the Boston University Research center.

“China’s overseas electricity portfolio is still dominated by coal and large-scale hydropower, indicating that China can do more to deliver on its promise to ramp up support for green and low-carbon energy in developing countries, especially wind and solar power” , she said. .

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President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly last year that China would stop investing in overseas coal plants as part of its commitment to fight climate change, a move estimated to involve about $50 billion in investment.

Xi’s promise led to the immediate cancellation of several overseas projects, though some remained in a “grey area” and could still go ahead, experts said.

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and also the largest consumer of coal.

Most of the China-funded overseas electricity generation capacity now in the planning stages will use low-carbon energy sources, the Boston University study said, indicating that a recent pledge to end foreign financing of coal is having an effect.


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