Sun, 16 Jan 2022

Washington [US], December 1 (ANI): Despite making a climate pledge made by Chinese Xi Jinping at the global stage, China is financing coal power plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ground has been prepared for the new coal-fired power station Ugljevik III in the Baltic nation, which is being built by Chinese and Polish-Chinese firms. The burning of coal has seriously affected the health of residents in the village, according to Washington based magazine The Diplomat.

Despite several promises to stop climate change and Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent pledge to curb financing coal power, Beijing has planned new power plants in Ugljevik and several other European towns.

The Chinese bank is financing coal-fired power projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose construction is imminent, despite a probe by the energy watchdog for violation of EU law.

Writing jointly for The Diplomat, researchers Wawa Wang and Nils Resare said the construction of a new coal power plant might be an unpleasant surprise for neighbouring countries.

A probe is ongoing on coal projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Espoo Convention, which governs transboundary environmental impacts. The body has expressed a "profound suspicion" of non-compliance by Balkan country, for not having undertaken transboundary consultations.

The report by Washington based magazine further said there is a major risk of Chinese-financed power plants being built in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Serbia. These projects, announced by Chinese state-owned enterprises in 2021, have a total estimated capacity of over 3,645 MW, the report added.

According to the writers, Chinese-backed overseas coal projects with an additional 10 GW of capacity are already in the pipeline and are likely to begin construction at any moment.

"Every new power plant has an expected lifespan of 40-50 years. If put into operation, these plants will challenge international climate agreements such as the G-20 pledge and China-US joint declaration at COP26," they added.

The construction of many Chinese-funded overseas coal projects has started without the necessary legal environmental assessments and permits required by the host country, the report added. Others projects have been delayed due to environmental or social impact scandals, or legal challenges. (ANI)

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