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Under pressure from green activists, China drops funding for coal projects

China caught in the spot?

For the first time since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, China refrained from financing any coal projects in the first half, the International Institute of Green Finance revealed, report said.

“The lack of funding from China for the dirtiest fossil fuel comes amid increased scrutiny from investors and environmental groups due to concern over its contribution to man-made climate change,” a Bloomberg report said. IIGF has also noted that BRI funding across 140 countries totaled $19.3 billion in the first six months — down 29 per cent from a year earlier, the Bloomberg report said.

Also read: Will China now be cornered for environmental negligence as US tightens screws on the Middle Kingdom?

“China’s negligence of environment related issues is now in the spotlight. This is one of the reasons why the country has managed to keep the cost of production of most items so low,” an analyst told India Narrative.

Radio Free Asia said that “China's continuing construction of coal plants has become a make-or-break issue for climate researchers and advocates as the government prepares plans to meet President Xi Jinping's goals for peaking carbon emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060.”

RFA, quoting a report from Global Energy Monitor, said that China commissioned 76 per cent of the world's new coal plants last year which is an increase from 64 per cent in 2019.

“China has remained focused on economic growth and in doing so, it has often overlooked other issues—which include violation of laws relating to human rights and environment,” the analyst said.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, also pointed out that coal projects are also facing growing resistance from local communities. “Last year, more than 20 non-governmental organisations called on Chinese banks to withdraw support for a coal-fired power plant under construction in Turkey,” the report said.