China backs hun­dreds of global coal power projects: Re­port

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING:

Chi­nese com­pa­nies are plan­ning or con­struct­ing hun­dreds of coal-fired power projects around the world, data show, even as Bei­jing talks up its com­mit­ment to fight­ing cli­mate change. The re­port by Ger­man en­vi­ron­men­tal lobby group Urge­wald comes as China seeks to fill a vac­uum left by the United States fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion to exit the Paris cli­mate agree­ment.

Urge­wald es­ti­mates about 250 Chi­nese com­pa­nies are in­volved in nearly half of the 1,600 new coal power projects planned or be­ing built world­wide. They in­clude state-owned en­ergy gi­ants China Datang Cor­po­ra­tion, China Hua­neng Group, and SPIC. Urge­wald bases its fig­ures on pub­licly avail­able com­pany in­for­ma­tion and the Global Coal Plant Tracker pub­lished by San Fran­cisco-based re­search plat­form CoalSwarm.

It es­ti­mates more than 840,000 megawatts will be added to the world’s coal-fired power ca­pac­ity if the 1,600 projects are com­pleted. Just 120 ma­jor coal plant de­vel­op­ers-in­clud­ing 26 Chi­nese com­pa­nies-are re­spon­si­ble for about two-thirds of the planned ex­pan­sion. The projects are in 62 coun­tries, in­clud­ing 14 which have no ex­ist­ing coal-fired power ca­pac­ity. Chin­abacked projects are planned or un­der way in sev­eral na­tions in­clud­ing China, Pak­istan, Malawi, Egypt and Ja­maica, Urge­wald said in the re­port pub­lished on June 29.

“If the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment truly wants to po­si­tion it­self as a global cli­mate leader, it needs to rein in its state-owned com­pa­nies that are flood­ing the world with new coal power plants,”Trusha Reddy, co­or­di­na­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Coal Net­work at Earth­life Africa, was quoted by Urge­wald as say­ing. China’s Na­tional En­ergy Ad­min­is­tra­tion did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment. Urge­wald said the top 120 com­pa­nies were “pav­ing the road to­wards cli­mate chaos”.

“The com­pa­nies push­ing for­ward this glut of new coal in­fra­struc­ture pose a threat to us all, as their projects would bury our chances of keep­ing global warm­ing well be­low two de­grees Cel­sius,” Urge­wald di­rec­tor Heffa Schueck­ing said. China, the world’s big­gest pol­luter but also its big­gest in­vestor in re­new­able en­ergy, has re­peat­edly vowed to stay the course on re­duc­ing its green­house gas emis­sions. Ear­lier this year it re­port­edly can­celled more than 100 car­bon­belch­ing coal power projects. —AFP

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