UNEP chief urges China to do more on climate

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SEOUL: The world’s biggest polluter China has a “big job” ahead of it in the global fight against climate change, the UN’s environment chief said Wednesday. Beijing has repeatedly pledged to reduce its reliance on carbon-belching coal as it seeks to clear the toxic smog from its cities. But it has also invested heavily in coal projects abroad as part of its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, prompting accusations it is exporting its pollution to poorer and less developed countries. Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Program, told Agence France-Presse the world was in a “transformative phase” from coal to renewable energy and Beijing had a vital role to play. As well as its number one position as a source of pollution, China is also the world’s biggest investor in renewable energy such as solar and wind power. Its coal consumption has fallen for the past three years, and earlier this year it reportedly cancelled more than 100 carbon-belching coal power projects. But China still relies on the fuel for 62 percent of its primary energy mix.”China has a very big job ahead of it to transform fundamentally from coal into these very promising new technologies,” said Solheim.

AFP

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