Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – In July of last year, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries to stop funding the coal industry, as he said via video link during a summit hosted by the International Energy Agency via the Internet: “Coal has no money. A place in the plans to recover from the Corona virus. “
Last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that the world’s largest polluter of greenhouse gases would become carbon neutral by the year 2060. Through his speech with the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he called for a “green revolution”.
It was the first time that China had announced concrete targets to reach net zero carbon emissions.
In 2018, President Xi announced a major push for green development in Africa as part of his global infrastructure policy, the “The Belt and Road” initiative, which 38 sub-Saharan countries have signed up to, hoping to improve infrastructure and develop energy.
However, despite these promises to phase out high-carbon polluting projects inside and outside the country, Chinese banks and companies are still financing 7 coal plants in Africa today, with 13 other plants under construction, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. The China-Africa Development Fund was supposed to finance Ghana’s coal power plant, a private equity fund fully supported by the China Development Bank, as well as a government policy bank.
Since 2000, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China have provided $ 6.5 billion to fund coal projects in Africa, according to Boston University’s Center for Global Development Policy.
China has a rapidly developing economy with many sectors dependent on fossil fuels and currently contributing 26% of global carbon emissions, according to the “The Belt and Road” Initiative Center.
In October, one month after Xi promised to reach zero carbon emissions, one of China’s largest energy builders, the state-owned Power China Corporation, relocated 223 Chinese employees to Zimbabwe to “speed up” the expansion of the Hwang Power Plant. Charcoal-fired in western Zimbabwe.
Two weeks later, the Chinese ambassador to the country, Gu Shaochun, said in a tweet on Twitter that the Coronavirus pandemic “cannot halt the pace of cooperation between China and Zimbabwe” and that upon completion of the project, “the country’s energy self-sufficiency capacity will be greatly improved. “.
In the above infographic, here’s a look at the Chinese-funded coal power plants in Africa: