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China’s Confusing, Contradictory Policy on Coal Power

In September 2021, President Xi Jinping announced at the United Nations that China would immediately halt all financing of coal power projects abroad as part of Beijing’s broader ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Since then, the Chinese government has fulfilled that pledge, terminating coal power plant financing deals in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and other countries. But at home, China’s policy on coal is very different. In fact, this year alone, the Chinese have approved more than 20gw of new coal power production in just the first three months of the year, more than all of 2021 combined.

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