Alok Sharma has this morning called on nations around the world “to consign coal to history” ahead of this autumn’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
Speaking this morning, the UK’s president for the crunch talks said the G7 economies would lead the way in the quest to stop using the fossil fuel.
“Because if we are serious about 1.5 degrees, Glasgow must be the COP that consigns coal to history”, he said.
“The days of coal providing the cheapest form of power are in the past, and in the past they must remain. The coal business is, as the UN Secretary General has said, going up in smoke. It’s old technology. So let’s make COP26 the moment we leave it in the past where it belongs”.
Alongside his comments on coal, Sharma called on countries around the world to make sure all new cars were zero emissions by 2040.
The UK has set a deadline of 2030 for the end of sales of traditional diesel and petrol engine cars, a world leading target.
Sharma also said that he was committed to managing a physical summit for the talks, which start on 1 November.
The UK has led the way in phasing out the use of coal. In 2012, 40 per cent of the country’s energy came from the fossil fuel, but the figure is now less than two per cent.
Ministers have pledged to completely phase out the fuel by 2024.