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27 Sep 2021

Kepha Muiruri, Citizen Digital (Kenya)

Kenya: Clean energy campaigners laud China's decision to stop building coal power plants overseas

"China puts ‘final nail on coffin’ for Lamu coal project"

Plans to revive talks surrounding the setup of a coal power plant in Lamu are virtually over after China’s flip. While appearing at the United Nations General Assembly summit earlier this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would stop building coal power plants overseas. The pledge has technically scuttled plans for a coal power plant in Kenya whose potential funding was seen emerging from China after prospective financiers pulled out of the now damned project.

In flipping from its support for coal power plants which are regarded as dirty sources of energy, China has in essence stopped blowing hot and cold on the global push for sustainability and climate change mitigation. Its pledge has been followed by applause from climate smart cheerleaders and activists who have termed the move as death to the coal industry.

“The coal industry all over the world is collapsing. All the pillars that used to hold it together have long decayed, and no country or investors anywhere in the world will be spared the BIG collapse. This move will spare the country the huge losses it would have faced in coal businesses abroad in the form of stranded assets,” said Prince Papa, Chairperson to the the deCOALonize Campaign Board.

Part of the following timelines

China's commitment to phase out overseas coal investment

Kenya: Lamu Coal Power Plant