Foreign countries will need to show “political will” to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday after the country’s energy ministry promised to cut emissions overseas as it clears overseas projects.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said at a Beijing forum on Monday that coal-burning power plants will be replaced by gas-powered units, wind farms and other renewable energy projects, in its latest sign that it is rolling back an expansion of coal-fired power projects overseas as Beijing tightens its pollution control.
China also wants to accelerate plans to invest in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, coal mining, cement and metals.
China is pumping money into dozens of overseas coal projects, from building power plants to constructing a deepwater port in Africa, under what it calls “secure, stable, economic cooperation”.
“Political will by the international community should be made in order to confront climate change and deal with China’s fully planned policy to steadily enhance the effectiveness of international climate cooperation,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily press briefing on Wednesday.
Policymakers should not only take climate change threats into account, but also have a “comprehensive” understanding of various climate policies, the foreign ministry spokesman said.
China, the world’s top coal producer and consumer, wants to cap the share of coal in its energy mix at 40.5 percent by 2030, a year later than previously planned. Beijing has also pledged to switch all municipal electric grids to renewable energy by 2020.
Coal power plants with coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology, which are commonly referred to as gasification-to-liquid, are increasingly being used to meet China’s energy demand.
China has also aimed to speed up the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plants and ship terminals as part of its clean energy push. The country is on track to meet its set goal of boosting its LNG consumption rate to 2.2bn cubic metres (bcm) per year by the end of 2020.
Globally, Chinese investment in clean energy projects across water, forestry, land and solar power projects totaled $12.2bn in 2017, according to China’s state planner.