Bank of China pledges to end funding for foreign coal mining and power plants
25 Sep, 2021
The Bank of China has said it will no longer provide financing for new coal mining and coal-fired power projects overseas from next month. It is the first of the four Chinese state-owned commercial banks to make such a commitment after President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly this week that China would stop building coal-fired power plants abroad. The bank is also one of the biggest bankers of coal mining and coal power companies, according to the Banking on Climate Change 2020 report.
It said in a statement that it had recently drawn up an action plan to help China meet its target of reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.
[...] “If Xi’s pledge includes China’s commercial banks too, this is more ambitious than anything the West has done,” Kevin Gallagher, director of the Boston University Global Development Policy Centre [...].
[...] China’s investment in overseas coal-fired power projects has dropped sharply in recent years [...]. Some state-owned and commercial banks have also expressed a willingness to phase down or end support for overseas coal projects.
Zhou Yueqiu, chief economist of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, said in May that the bank would draw up a timetable for the gradual withdrawal of coal financing. The bank, one of the world’s biggest supporters of coal, is the first major Chinese financier to announce such a plan. In June, the bank said it would not fund the 2,800-megawatt Sengwa coal project in Zimbabwe.