Reliance on coal and a trade war with the US put the brakes on China’s goal to curb pollution with green energy plans.
After the United States announced it would terminate its membership of the Paris agreement, Beijing was quick to brand itself as a global leader committed to fighting climate change, through green policymaking.
The country has been investing heavily in renewables. Last year, for every dollar spent in the US on alternative energy, China spent three.
But China’s carbon emissions have risen since 2015, coal still accounts for over 60 percent of the country’s energy consumption and new coal plants are still being built.
Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown reports from Beijing.