EU Demands That China Stop Building New Coal-Fired Power Plants – Anywhere

  • Date: 14/09/20
  • EurActiv

The EU will push Beijing to peak its global warming emissions by 2025 and commit to stop all investments in new coal-fired power stations, whether at home or abroad.

The European Union will press China to aim for climate neutrality by 2060 or eventually face punitive carbon tariffs during a summit on Monday (14 September) aimed at concluding a bilateral trade agreement by the end of the year.

At the summit, Europeans will also push Beijing to peak its global warming emissions by 2025 and commit to stop all investments in new coal-fired power stations, whether at home or abroad, EU officials said.

The climate talks are part of a wider bilateral trade and investment agenda that Brussels hopes will help restore a level playing field between EU companies and state-owned Chinese firms that are not subject to the same CO2 emission obligations.

“On Monday, we hope to agree on a detailed roadmap in order to close negotiations by the end of this year as we set out to do,” said an EU official who was briefing reporters on Friday (11 September).

The online summit will be attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council chief Charles Michel on the EU side, as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Chinese side.

After the last EU-China summit in June, von der Leyen made clear that the ball was “way in the Chinese court” when it comes to reciprocity in trade relations, an EU source said.

The list of EU recriminations is long and includes a request for fair access to the Chinese market, as well as an end to forced technology transfers imposed on European firms operating in China.

On the climate diplomacy front, the EU has committed to reducing global warming emissions to net-zero by 2050 as part of the Paris Agreement and is now asking Beijing to play its part by committing to a similar objective.

“We hope that they will commit to climate neutrality domestically by 2060,” a senior EU official said, adding that Europe was “extremely prudent” about the commitments China has made so far on climate change and will ask concrete measures rather than just talk.

“China has committed to peak its emissions by 2030,” a senior EU official remarked. “We think it’s far too late, we suggest 2025.”

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