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Beijing’s 2021 pledge to end support for new overseas coal power plants has led to 15 China-backed projects being shelved or cancelled, with the potential for another 32 being halted as well, an analysis published on Friday (April 22) shows.

The study by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Crea) – a research organisation registered in Finland with staff across Asia and Europe – finds that China’s pledge is having an impact on its coal investments abroad and influencing host country energy policies.

The majority of the 15 plants being shelved or cancelled were a result of revised domestic energy plans. For example, Vietnam in late 2021 postponed 6.6 gigawatts (GW) of coal projects beyond 2030, making it unlikely that such plants will ever be built, the authors say.