COP26 marks commitments by nations to end coal power usage

at 8:33 pm
Global climate change response failing people most at risk
Representational image

Glasgow (UK): With an aim of fighting climate change, 23 countries have made new commitments to phase out coal power, which include five of the world’s top 20 coal power-using countries.

In separate announcements, major emerging economies, including India, promised to move from coal to clean power. India, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa announced partnerships with the Climate Investment Funds to accelerate their transitions away from coal power, backed by a dedicated $2 billion facility

The commitments were made at the UN Climate Change Summit called the Conference of Parties (COP26) here.

The 23 nations which made the new commitments to phase out coal power include Indonesia, Vietnam, Poland, South Korea, Egypt, Spain, Nepal, Singapore, Chile and Ukraine.

South Korea is the world’s 5th coal power using nation, Indonesia is 7th, Vietnam is 9th, Poland is 13th and Ukraine is 19th.

In a new ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’, countries also committed to scaling up clean power and ensuring a just transition away from coal.

The announcements follow a collapse in the financing of coal, as developed nations have pledged new support to help developing countries make the transition to clean energy.

Banks and financial institutions also made landmark commitments at COP26 to end the funding of unabated coal, including major international lenders like HSBC, Fidelity International and Ethos.

This followed recent announcements from China, Japan and South Korea to end overseas coal financing which now means all significant public international financing for coal power has effectively ended.

In addition, a group of 25 countries, including COP26 partners the US, Italy, Canada  and Denmark, together with public finance institutions have signed a UK-led joint statement committing to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022 and instead prioritising support for the clean energy transition.

Collectively, this could shift an estimated $17.8 billion a year in public support out of fossil fuels and into the clean energy transition.

Developing countries including Ethiopia, Fiji and the Marshall Islands offered their support, signalling growing unity. This is an inclusive agenda that must recognise the development and energy needs of all economies.

At least 28 new members also signed up to the world’s largest alliance on phasing out coal — The Powering Past Coal Alliance, launched and co-chaired by the UK and Canada. New members include Chile and Singapore, joining more than 160 countries, sub-nationals and businesses.

There has been a 76% drop in the number of new coal plants planned globally over the last six years since the Paris Agreement was adopted. This equates to the cancellation of more than 1000GW of new coal plants.