Monday, November 29, 2021

COP26: UK lauds global deals to ‘end coal’, but plans new mine

An “end of coal” is in sight, according to Britain, host of the COP26 climate summit, after dozens of countries pledged to stop using coal and end fossil fuel funding.

Britain said coal burning is the biggest contributor to climate change, accounting for about 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, on Thursday, more than 40 countries pledged to eliminate coal completely.

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Signatories included large coal consumers such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Poland and Ukraine. They, along with many global banks and financial institutions, are also committed to ending all investment in new coal power generation.

FILE – COP26 President Alok Sharma attends an event at Whiteley Windfarm outside Glasgow, Scotland, on May 14, 2021.

end of coal

COP26 President Alok Sharma described the agreement as a big step towards tackling global warming.

“Today, we are publishing the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, a commitment to ending coal investment, to increase clean energy, in major economies in the 2030s and, elsewhere, in the 2040s. And to phase out coal,” Sharma told the delegates on Thursday.

“I think we can say that the end of coal is near,” he said. “The progress we have seen in the last two years seems like a high ambition when we presided over the COP in 2019. Who would have thought that today we can say that we are suffocating internationally. Coal financing , or that we will see a shift from domestic coal power?

But the world’s biggest coal consumers, including China, the United States, Australia and India, did not sign the deal. Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, wrote on Twitter that without those countries, “there is still a very real danger that the end will not come soon.”

Separately, 25 countries, including the United States, also pledged to halt public funding for all foreign fossil fuel projects and prioritize clean energy finance by the end of next year. Major Asian coal investors China, Japan and South Korea did not sign up. His absence was criticized by Katharina Rall, an environmental researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Countries that have chosen not to sign, including Japan and South Korea, are indicating a lack of respect for their human rights obligations and the rights of communities around the world, which are already suffering a growing toll from climate impacts,” he said. facing.”

FILE - Emissions from a coal-fired power plant on February 1, 2021 in Independence, Mo.

FILE – Emissions from a coal-fired power plant on February 1, 2021 in Independence, Mo.

allegation of hypocrisy

Britain has also been accused of hypocrisy as it considers opening a new mine to produce coking coal for steelmaking. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently voiced opposition to the plan but said it was a matter of planning for local government.

Mike Starkey, the mayor of Copeland Borough Council in Cumbria, where the mine is planned, explained his support for the project.

“The coal that will be extracted from this mine is specifically for steelmaking use, and if we’re going to have a green industrial revolution, that’s what we need to develop solar, wind, wave – and of course here we Would love to develop more nuclear — all this is going to take significant amounts of steel,” Starkey told the Associated Press.

“And if the coal that produces the steel isn’t mined here, we’re going to be shipping it from all over the world, leaving a huge transportation carbon footprint from the mines that, like most modern mines, are pure- There is no zero extraction. That will ever be made here in Whitehaven,” he said.

Britain is also considering the development of a new oil field off Scotland’s Shetland Islands, north of Glasgow, the host city of the climate summit.

FILE - Bucket wheel excavators mine coal at the Garzweiler open-cast coal mine in Luetzerath, Germany, October 25, 2021.

FILE – Bucket wheel excavators mine coal at the Garzweiler open-cast coal mine in Luetzerath, Germany, October 25, 2021.

emissions rebound

A new report warns that carbon dioxide emissions have reached pre-pandemic levels.

“The rebound is due to emissions from coal and gas, which increased more in 2021 than in 2020. And behind this, we see a rapid increase in emissions in China, especially pushed by economic stimulus packages , while other countries followed the trajectory of emissions reductions in the US and Europe and rising emissions in India pre-pandemic,” Corinne Le Quere, a professor at the University of East Anglia and co-author of the report, told the AP.

The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that if all commitments made so far at COP26 are fully implemented, global warming will be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius – 2.7 degrees in a UN forecast ahead of the summit. A significant improvement over the increase of Celsius.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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