China to control investment in overseas coal

April 2, 2021|Written by Camilla Schramek|People's Bank of China

China will “strictly control” investment in new overseas coal-fired power projects as part of a deepening commitment to international cooperation on climate change.

The decision was announced by Liu Guiping, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, at a press conference on Friday. During a wide-ranging presentation titled Building a New Development Pattern and Supporting Regional Coordinated Development, Liu outlined a series of draft policies to provide more financial support for the country’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2060.

The Chinese central bank is establishing a national carbon accounting system and is assessing financial institutions on their green lending activities. This will include a review of green finance reform and innovation in pilot zones across nine provinces.

The bank will also encourage financial institutions to disclose climate-related and other environmental information, and will build a unified national carbon emission trading market. Future plans include further reform of green finance, expansion of the financial innovation pilot zones, and implementation of green investment principles for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a vast transportation and trade infrastructure project.

However, Liu offered few details and gave no indication of how China will end its own reliance on coal for electricity and heating. China currently operates 1,058 coal plants, more than half the world’s capacity, and continues to build more. It was responsible for 76% of the world’s new coal plants commissioned in 2020.

This page was last updated July 9, 2024

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