September 24, 2021 Read More →

Seven countries sign on to UN plan to “consign coal to history”

Bloomberg ($):

Seven countries have signed a pledge initiated by the United Nations to stop building new coal power plants, with the aim to gather more signatures before the global climate summit COP26 in Glasgow next month.

The No New Coal agreement is the latest attempt to try and piece together a global phase-out of the dirtiest fossil fuel. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wants to end the pipeline of new plants this year, while COP26 President Alok Sharma has said his goal for the summit is to “consign coal to history.” Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Montenegro, Sri Lanka and the U.K. signed the latest pledge.

“Moving away from coal is not a death knell for industrialization, but rather a much better opportunity for green jobs,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, chief executive officer of the UN-backed international organization Sustainable Energy for All. That’s “what will drive other countries to join,” she said.

A separate initiative launched in 2017, called the Powering Past Coal Alliance, sets a higher bar. It includes 41 countries that have committed to phasing out existing coal operations as soon as 2030 in many cases, on top of promising not to build new plants. An additional 40 nations outside the alliance don’t have a single coal power plant in the pipeline, according to environmental think tank E3G.

[Akshat Rathi]

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