US welcomes end of China’s coal funding, but calls for more

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United Nations (United States) (AFP)

The United States on Wednesday welcomed China’s pledge to end funding for overseas coal projects, but expressed hope that the world’s largest emitter would also do more at home on climate change.

President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that China will stop supporting coal overseas, drying up global foreign aid for the dirty form of energy in developing countries after announcements similar from South Korea and Japan.

“We welcome this announcement, but we also recognize that more needs to be done,” a US official told reporters at the United Nations, speaking on condition of anonymity according to custom.

“We look forward to hearing more about the additional steps they can take during this decisive decade to further reduce their domestic emissions,” the official said.

The official said new Chinese action “would help bring the world closer to a trajectory that will keep temperatures well above 1.5 degrees,” as increasingly seems likely despite an aspiration set by the Paris agreement of 2015.

UN scientists say that a warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels is a threshold at which the planet can avoid the worst ravages of climate change, including warmer weather conditions. in addition to severe droughts and floods.

Despite China’s commitment to foreign aid, it has continued to invest in coal at home – an issue raised during a visit earlier this month by the U.S. envoy to the John Kerry climate.

President Joe Biden has given the environment a high priority after defeating climate skeptic Donald Trump and in his own speech to the UN on Tuesday pledged to double US aid to countries hardest hit by climate change , a key gap ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow in November.

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