The end of coal production is in sight, argues Cop26 president and cabinet minister Alok Sharma, as 46 countries agree to phase out the world’s most polluting energy source.
Coal is responsible for 46 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
The countries have committed to ending coal power usage in the 2030s across major economies, and in the 2040s for the rest of the world.
This includes 23 nations joining the pledge for the first time at the climate conference, including Poland, Vietnam and Chile.
Sharma praised the agreement and stated that it ensured the goals of the Paris Agreement such as maintaining global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, remained in reach.
He said: “I do believe we’re getting to a point where we consign coal to history. A brighter future comes ever closer, a future of cleaner air, cheaper power and good green jobs, but we must continue to work together over this vital decade to finish that job.”
However, China, US and India did not sign up to the deal, with all three countries responsible for over 50 per cent of coal emissions.
It also follows concerning results from the Climate Transparency Report, showing carbon emissions are rebounding across the world’s richest 20 nations.
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The study reveals that CO2 emissions are projected to rise by four per cent across the G20 this year due to increasing energy demands in developed economies.
The increase is being powered by coal usage, which is expected to rise by five per cent across the G20 in 2021.
Meanwhile, China is currently pushing its coal miners to sell at a discount, after it intervened in the energy markets to ease a domestic power crunch.
It has been struggling with an energy crisis that has caused blackouts and forced factories to close down for four days a week.
Miners across the country’s three leading coal-producing provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia have since pledged to cut prices.
The UK however, is persisting with its plans at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgo despite the set backs.
Sharma has also praised the separate “powering past coal alliance” which now has 28 members, including seven new countries and 14 major financial private sector and financial institutions including NatWest, Lloyds Bank and HSBC.
He said: “I do believe we’re getting to a point where we consign coal to history. A brighter future comes ever closer, a future of cleaner air, cheaper power, and good green jobs, but we must continue to work together over this vital decade to finish that job.”
He praised the “powering past coal alliance”, which now includes seven new countries and 14 major financial private sector and financial institutions such as NatWest, Lloyds Bank and HSBC.