WHAT IS XI SAYING? Chinese President Xi Jinping made waves Tuesday when he announced the country would stop building overseas coal projects. It’s the last country to renounce public funding for the projects after South Korea and Japan made similar pledges earlier this year, and a big move for a nation that’s long been a leader in financing overseas coal.
But the details of Xi’s pledge remain unclear. Will China’s semi-public institutions continue financing projects? What about projects that have been pre-approved? Pro’s Zack Colman asked around to see what was up, and experts and administration officials alike remain in the dark on several key aspects.
Of course, Beijing’s move away from overseas coal wasn’t a total surprise. China’s massive international infrastructure initiative, the Belt and Road, had already started sunsetting coal finance, and some China watchers said talks of ending the financing had already been in the works, with Xi looking for the right time to break the news.
Not everyone is so certain that it’ll mean the end of China’s coal ambitions. Kelly Sims Gallagher, a veteran of former President Barack Obama’s climate diplomacy with China, told Zack that she’s taking a “trust but verify” approach. Another Obama climate veteran, John Podesta, said it was “still an overall positive development” but “the details matter.”
By MATTHEW CHOI
This article was originally shared by Politico.