At the same time, Washington called on Beijing to take additional measures to reduce carbon emissions within the country.
The United States welcomed China’s promise to stop financing coal projects abroad but expressed hope that the world’s largest source of carbon emissions will also make additional efforts to combat climate change.
In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China would no longer build coal-fired power plants abroad, which, in practice, means nullifying external assistance to this “dirty” form of energy in developing countries.
Earlier, South Korea and Japan made similar statements.
“We welcome this announcement, but we also recognize the need for additional efforts,” the U.S. representative told reporters, speaking to the UN on condition of anonymity.
“We hope to hear more about additional steps they can take in this crucial decade to reduce their national emissions further,” the official said.
According to the official, China’s further actions “will help put the world on a trajectory that will keep the temperature from rising by more than one and a half degrees,” which seems increasingly likely, despite the goals set in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.