The climate promise of Xi Jinping before the UN: Stop building coal centers abroad

Sitting behind a desk, with a great poster of the Great Wall behind him, Xi Jinping appeared on Tuesday before the UN General Assembly. It was a recorded spee

The climate promise of Xi Jinping before the UN: Stop building coal centers abroad

Sitting behind a desk, with a great poster of the Great Wall behind him, Xi Jinping appeared on Tuesday before the UN General Assembly. It was a recorded speech. At the time the video of him was issued in New York, most likely the president of China was already sleeping because, due to the time difference, Beijing was bathed with the usual silence of good entrance at dawn.

XI appeared in front of his colleagues at the UN hours after the US president, Joe Biden. The relations between the United States and China go through its greatest crisis in years. The beginning of New Cold War, analysts say. Many fronts have open: from a commercial war, until continuous allegations of human rights and technological disputes. But if there is a land in which they can paddle together the two world powers is in climate cooperation. That was the commitment of both leaders at the UN: to fight against global warming.

"China will not build any new coal project abroad," said President Xi in his speech. China is the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter (represented 27% of global emissions in 2019), followed by the United States (11%).

Xi's blunt commitment surprised because no one was waiting for him. As happened last year, in the previous assembly, when the Chinese leader announced that his country would reach the top of carbon emissions before 2030 and would reach neutrality in its emissions in 2060. The objective of generating 20% of the Total energy consumption of the country from renewable energies for 2025. These XI purposes defined them as the "China's green revolution".

The announcement that China will stop financing coal power plants abroad is a change in the ambitious policy of the new Silk Route, which was planned by coal plants worth 160,000 million dollars between 2014 and 2020. Although already last year he began to reduce his coal initiatives around the extensive infrastructures. "We have to accelerate the transition to a green economy and low in carbon emissions," China's president insisted.

According to the European Think Climate Tank Report E3G, depending on when the new coal policy of China, the Asian giant could close 47 power plants planned in 20 developing countries that use the fuel that emits most gases That trap the heat. From 2013 to 2019, the data show that China has been financing 13% of the coal energy capacity built out of its borders.

While reduces participation in coal abroad, Beijing also has work to be done within home, where coal remains the main source of energy. China consumed more coal than all other countries in the world together in 2020, showed a study by the Ember Research Group. He represented 58% of the country's energy demand in 2020, according to the National Statistics Office.

XI also ensured that your country will increase financial support for green energy projects in other developing countries. A comment that was later applauded by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who had asked the world leaders to show solidarity and act in front of the climate crisis. By the United States, Joe Biden also announced a plan to duplicate financial assistance to the poorest nations (more than 11,000 million by 2024), so that these countries could change to cleaner energies and cope with the worsening of warming impact global.

The intervention at the United Nations General Assembly of the Chinese President not only focused on Beijing's new climate strategy. Xi Jinping also spoke of foreign policy. "Democracy is not a special right reserved for any particular country. Recent events in the international situation show once again that military intervention from abroad and the so-called democratic transformation do not imply more than harm," said XI.

His words come a week after President Biden, together with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, declared the formation of the new Association of Defense and Safety, called Aukus, to "Protect and defend interests Shared in the Indo-Pacific ". It was announced that the first initiative of the New Alliance would be the creation of underwater technology of nuclear propulsion for the Royal Australian Navy, something that did not make very much grace to Beijing, who crosses the worst relationships in decades with the three actors of the Aukus and who considered That alliance as an "anti-China Covenant".

"We need to defend peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum profits," said President Xi in A speech in which it did not make direct mention of China's rivalry with the United States, but it did have a dart at their rival, after what happened in Afghanistan, defending that their country "has never invaded or run over others, or sought hegemony . Neither has done it or it will do it. "

XI was more abstract than biden, which did indicated the challenges of its administration (North Korea, Afghanistan or Yemen) and quoted China by referring to the situation in the Xinjiang region, recalling that UN reports point to that up to one million of men and women from the Uigur Muslim minority would have been sent by force to internment camps.

Updated Date: 22 September 2021, 19:59

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