Following Chinese President Xi Jinping\u0026#039;s announcement late Tuesday that the country will end its financing of overseas coal projects, climate action advocates applauded the \u0022huge step forward\u0022 into a future with far fewer carbon emissions—while pushing China to commit to further action.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nIn a pre-recorded address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Xi said China is focused on fostering \u0022new growth drivers in the post-Covid era and jointly achieve leapfrog development, staying committed to harmony between man and nature.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022China\u0026#039;s pledge to scale up support to green energy is also a show of great commitment that will inject much needed momentum in the pursuit of a just transition in developing nations mostly vulnerable to the climate crisis.\u0022\r\n—Landry Ninteretse, 350Africa.org\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAs such, he said, \u0022China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe move will significantly cut down on financing of coal projects in the Global South, where civil society groups and climate experts have protested the pollution-causing activity for years.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nSouth Korea and Japan both announced earlier this year their own plans to end coal financing abroad. Along with China, the countries have been behind more than 95% of all foreign funding for coal-fired power plants. The Bank of China has been the largest single international coal funder in recent years, spending $35 billion on projects since 2015.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022China was the last man standing,\u0022 Justin Guay, director of global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project, told The Guardian. \u0022If there\u0026#039;s no public finance of coal from China, there\u0026#039;s little to no global coal expansion.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe end of overseas financing from the state-run bank is a clear sign that \u0022the writing is on the wall for coal power,\u0022 said British politician Alok Sharma, who is serving as the president of this year\u0026#039;s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26).\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAt the conference, Sharma said, world leaders must step up efforts and \u0022consign coal to history.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nClimate analyst Ketan Joshi expressed wariness of \u0022loopholes\u0022 that may come with China\u0026#039;s pledge, but acknowledged Xi\u0026#039;s announcement as \u0022a very big deal.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nA crucial step towards doing away with coal production—the largest source of planet-heating carbon emissions—would be the end of domestic coal projects in China, said a number of observers.\r\n\r\n\r\nXi\u0026#039;s announcement at the UNGA \u0022is further evidence China knows the future is paved by renewables,\u0022 Thom Woodruffe, a fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, told The Guardian. \u0022The key question now is when they will draw a similar line in the sand at home.\u0022\r\n\r\nWithin its own borders, China put nearly 40 gigawatts of new coal-fired power in operation last year—more than three times the amount it financed overseas.\r\n\r\nXi\u0026#039;s announcement Tuesday was \u0022a really big deal,\u0022 tweeted climate scientist Dr. Zeke Hausfather, but it remains \u0022imperative that China stop financing new domestic coal plants.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEven after ending financing for overseas coal projects, China will remain the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is the world\u0026#039;s largest coal producer. Without a sharp reduction in the country\u0026#039;s domestic emissions in the next decade, the world is unlikely to limit global heating to 1.5C, The Guardian reported.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to the London-based climate analysis firm TransitionZero, to meet China\u0026#039;s own goal of reaching net zero emissions domestically by 2060 would require the country to shut down nearly 600 of its coal-fired power plants in the next 10 years.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nOrganizations in some of the countries where China has financed coal production celebrated Xi\u0026#039;s announcement, noting that communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis—who have done little to contribute to the heating of the planet—will benefit.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022This move will scale down fossil fuels in the continent, and limit harmful impacts of coal that are already being felt in parts of the continent,\u0022 said Landry Ninteretse of 350Africa.org. \u0022China is paving the way for other governments that continue to venture into deadly fossil fuel projects to stop them and instead accelerate plans to phase out coal, end public finance for oil and gas and implement a just transition based on renewable energy for the continent.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022China’s pledge to scale up support to green energy is also a show of great commitment that will inject much needed momentum in the pursuit of a just transition in developing nations mostly vulnerable to the climate crisis,\u0022 added Ninteretse.\r\n\r\nCoal Free Nigeria Coalition called on African policymakers \u0022to position themselves to benefit from the renewable energy finance promised by the Chinese government.\u0022\r\n\r\nWhile applauding the \u0022positive political statement by China,\u0022 Michael Terungwa of Coal Free Nigeria Coalition emphasized that \u0022charity begins at home.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022The Chinese government should not finance or build coal plants in China and should begin the process of decommissioning coal plants abroad. In China, they should also set a plan in motion, for a just transition to renewable energy,\u0022 said Terungwa.