More than 40 countries have come forward to commit a shift away from coal. They have taken the pledge at the COP26 climate summit, as per the announcement of the UK government. The major coal-using countries are Chile, Vietnam, and Poland. They have also taken the commitment.
However, some of the biggest coal-dependent parties in the world are the US, China, India, and Australia. They have not yet signed up for the pledge. Coal is one of the biggest contributors to the changing climate.
The countries that have signed have committed to ending all the investment in the new coal power generation both internationally and domestically. They have also agreed to further phase out the coal power in the 2030s for the major economies. The deadline has been set for 2040 for the poorer nations.
Dozens of many other organizations have signed up for the pledge. Several major banks have also agreed to stop financing in the coal industry. The end for coal is in sight.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK business and energy secretary, said, “The world is moving in the right direction, standing ready to seal coal’s fate and embrace the environmental and economic benefits of building a future that is powered by clean energy.”
However, UK Shadow Business secretary Ed Miliband has said that there are gaps between China and other major emitters. They have not yet committed to stopping the increase of coal use for domestic purposes. He has also noted that there was nothing in phasing out gas and oil. Mr. Miliband has said that the UK government has let others off the hook.
Progress is taking place in reducing the use of coal on a global scale. It still produced nearly 37% of the world’s electricity in the year 2019.
Various nations like Poland, India, and South Africa will now need major investments for making their energy sector even cleaner.
The head of Greenpeace’s delegation at COP26, Juan Pablo Osornio, said, “Overall, this statement still falls well short of the ambition needed on fossil fuels in this critical decade.”
He added: “The small print seemingly gives countries enormous leeway to pick their phase-out date, despite the shiny headline.”