Environment Minister: China not currently able to commit to coal power phase-out

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says China just can't make the kind of commitment needed to join Canada's international alliance to wean the world off coal power, at least not now.

McKenna is in Beijing this week as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's China trade mission.

She says she trusts that China is committed to climate change, has installed a significant amount of renewable energy, is cutting back on building new coal plants and is on track to meet its commitment to see its emissions peak before 2030.

Twenty nations signed onto the Canada-UK Powering Past Coal Alliance at the UN climate change conference in Germany last month.

None of them are among the world's biggest consumers of coal power, such as the US, India, Germany, Japan and China, which consumes more coal than the rest of the world combined.