Poland, Vietnam, Chile and other countries will pledge Thursday to phase out coal-fired power generation and stop building new plants, in a deal that the British hosts of COP26 said would commit 190 nations and organizations to leave. the fuel.
Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions from burning it are the main contributor to climate change. Weaning the world off coal is seen as vital to achieving globally agreed climate goals.
The signatories of the COP26 agreement would pledge on Thursday to avoid investments in new coal plants at home and abroad, and to phase out coal-based power generation in the 2030s in the richest countries and in the decade by 2040 for the poorest nations, the British government said.
“The end of coal is in sight. The world is moving in the right direction, ready to seal the fate of coal and embrace the environmental and economic benefits of building a future powered by clean energy,” said the secretary of energy and British business, Kwasi Kwarteng. said.
Separately, the Powering Past Coal Alliance, an international campaign aimed at phasing out fuel, said it had secured 28 new members, including Ukraine, which has pledged to drop fuel by 2035. Coal produced about a third of the energy in Ukraine last year.
Factors including concerns about global warming pollution and the worsening economic profile of coal-fired generation have reduced its share in wealthy Western countries, such as Great Britain, Germany and Ireland, over the past decades.
But coal still produced about 37% of the world’s electricity in 2019, and an abundant and cheap local supply means that the fuel dominates energy production in countries like South Africa, Poland and India. These countries will require large investments to shift their energy industries and sectors to cleaner sources.
The global pipeline of new coal power projects has shrunk in recent years, although China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia are among those planning to build new coal plants.
Britain did not confirm whether those countries would be involved in the COP26 coal phase-out pledge, or whether Vietnam’s pledge on Thursday would affect its portfolio of coal projects already in the pre-construction stage.
China said in September that it would stop financing coal plants abroad, although the promise did not cover domestic projects.
A series of financial announcements is expected at COP26 on Thursday to accompany the coal pledges, both through new investments in clean energy and funds to support workers and regions that depend on the coal sector for their livelihoods.
Countries like Britain and the United States announced an $ 8.5 billion partnership with South Africa at the COP26 conference on Tuesday, to help the country phase out coal faster.