China objects to UN fund warnings on solar’s forced labour risks

(Climate Home News, 27 Oct 2023) China has opposed green projects by the UN’s flagship climate fund because their documents mentioned the risk of forced labour in the Chinese-dominated supply chains of solar panels.

At a meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), China’s board representative Yingzhi Liu objected to six projects because their risk assessments highlighted the potential of forced labour use in the production of solar panels.

The programmes, which included efforts to help vulnerable communities in Sierra Leone, Benin and Laos cope with the impact of climate change, were eventually approved following a majority vote.

China manufactures four-fifths of all the world’s solar panels, having a near-total monopoly over the production of some silicon parts which form the core of solar cells.

Forced labour allegations

Beijing has faced multiple accusations of using forced labour practices in solar panel manufacturing. Concerns have focused particularly on the Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government has committed “serious human rights violations” against the Uyghur population, according to a UN report.

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Climate Home News, 27 Oct 2023: China objects to UN fund warnings on solar’s forced labour risks