Chinese Overseas Development Financing of Electric Power Generation: A Comparative Analysis

Xu Chen, Kevin P. Gallagher, Denise L. Mauzerall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global power generation must rapidly decarbonize by mid-century to meet the goal of stabilizing global warming below 2°C. To meet this objective, multilateral development banks (MDBs) have gradually reduced fossil fuel and increased renewable energy financing. Meanwhile, globally active national development finance institutions (DFIs) from Japan and South Korea have continued to finance overseas coal plants. Less is known about the increasingly active Chinese DFIs. Here, we construct a new dataset of China's policy banks’ overseas power generation financing and compare their technology choices and impact on generation capacity with MDBs and Japanese and South Korean DFIs. We find that Chinese DFI power financing since 2000 has dramatically increased, surpassing other East Asian national DFIs and the major MDBs’ collective public sector power financing in 2013. As most Chinese DFI financing is currently in coal, decarbonization of their power investments will be critical in reducing future carbon emissions from recipient countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-503
Number of pages13
JournalOne Earth
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 23 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • Chinese DFI financing
  • committed carbon emissions
  • development finance institution
  • power generation

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