Thursday, December 2, 2021

More than a dozen countries commit to phasing out coal

Archival photograph of a coal miner Boleslav Smyaly in Poland in 2015. Photo REUTERS / Kacper Pempel

GLASGOW, Scotland – The UK government said “the end of coal is near” after 18 countries, including Poland, Vietnam and Chile, pledged for the first time to phase out and invest in coal.

In a statement released late Wednesday night during the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, more than 40 countries are pledging to stop all investment in new coal generation at home and abroad, and to rapidly ramp up clean energy production. The participating countries also commit to phase out coal-fired energy in the 2030s for large economies and in the 2040s for small economies.

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Separately, the statement said Chile and Singapore have joined a UK-led coal phase-out alliance that includes more than 150 countries and businesses such as HSBC and NatWest bank.

UK Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng said this is “an important moment in our global efforts to tackle climate change.”

But Ed Miliband, a business spokesman for the opposition Labor Party, said there were “glaring gaps,” such as a lack of commitment from China and other major emitters to stop the increase in coal at home. According to him, nothing is said about the gradual abandonment of oil and gas.

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