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China’s environment ministry floats ‘ban’ on coal power investment abroad

(Climate Home News, 3 Dec 2020) China’s environment ministry is proposing a crackdown on state involvement in building coal power plants abroad, in a report co-authored with international green groups.

China finances around a quarter of coal plants under development outside its borders and has invested $43 billion in coal through its “belt and road initiative” (BRI) since 2000, a spree that threatens to blow global climate goals.

Green development guidelines for the BRI published this week, if fully implemented, would halt the coal push and boost renewable energy. Under a traffic light system, wind and solar power projects are rated “green”, while coal and gas-fired power projects are “red”. Environmentally risky projects should be subject to stricter regulations, it argued.

The report further proposed drawing up an exclusion list for the most harmful types of investment. “That would essentially put a ban on coal in China’s overseas investments,” said Dimitri De Boer, report co-author from Client Earth’s China office.

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Climate Home News, 3 Dec 2020: China’s environment ministry floats ‘ban’ on coal power investment abroad