China bets on coal beyond borders
China is now the world’s biggest investor in coal outside its shores.
Once globally vilified for extensive air pollution due to heavy coal usage, China now talks a big game about its environmental efforts after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.
But, beyond its borders, the country has been the world’s biggest investor in coal power.
“Chinese banks’ and companies’ investments in coal abroad are a cause of major concern because of their potential to lock in more climate warming emissions in our carbon-constrained world,” said Huang Wei, a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.
Chinese financial institutions are the world’s largest investor of overseas coal plants, pumping in $15 billion in coal projects from 2013 to 2016 through international development funds, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based non-profit environmental advocacy group. There’s another $13 billion in proposed funding.
That is even as data from the International Energy Agency show a slowdown in coal power investment globally.