China will not build new coal-fire projects abroad, a move that could be essential in tackling global emissions.
President Xi Jin-Ping made the announcement in his address at the United Nations General Assembly. China has been funding coal projects in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam under a huge infrastructure project known as the Belt and Road initiative. But it has been under pressure to end the financing, as the world tries to meet Paris climate agreement targets.
"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," Mr. Xi said in a video recording at the annual summit. China is also the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter and is heavily reliant on coal for domestic energy needs. Half the coal burned in the world is burned in China. It is still adding many new coal power plants at home, with a lifespan of 40 to 50 years.