The COP26 climate summit is continuing, and in a deal that environmental activists considered disappointing, 40 countries agreed to phase out coal plants during the 1930s and 1940s, a deal that the world’s largest economies left behind.
The move bolstered UK hopes of a deal to maintain the target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels during the Cop26 summit.
For its part, European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simpson, said Thursday that pressure on the gas market around the world should not distract countries from phasing out coal, but rather spur them to switch to clean energy sources.
She added – on the sidelines of her participation in the COP26 climate summit – that “the current situation in energy markets is not a reason to stop efforts to abandon coal, on the contrary, the crisis highlights the urgent need to accelerate the deployment of clean energy solutions, and significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.” “.
Absence of major economies
Major countries that use coal, including Canada, Poland, Ukraine, and Vietnam, will phase out coal for electricity generation, and the larger economies will do so in the 1930s, while smaller economies will be given more leeway to enforce it in the 1940s.
However, some of the world’s largest coal-dependent economies, including Australia, China, India and the United States, did not participate in the agreement, while experts and activists saw the coal phase-out deadlines signed by the countries as “too far-reaching”.
The goal of “making coal in the past” was a major focus of the UK as host of the COP26 climate summit, which aims to put the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, according to Bloomberg.
The British minister said: “Today marks a significant moment in our global efforts to tackle climate change, as nations from around the world unite in Glasgow to declare that coal will have no role in generating electricity in the future. The ambitious commitments made today by our international partners demonstrate that the end of coal is coming. looming on the horizon.”
Under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, countries committed to limiting global temperature rise to “well below” 2°C.
Stop using charcoal
Coal use is one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, and the past year has seen a resurgence in the use of polluting fuels after a temporary drop in emissions from shutdowns last year.
The agreement – brokered by the United Kingdom in Glasgow – included commitments from dozens of developing and developed countries to stop using coal, and more than 100 financial institutions and other organizations agreed to stop funding the development of coal plants.
More than 20 governments and financial institutions, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Denmark, have also agreed to phase out external financing for all fossil fuels.
Research has shown that the world could be on the right track to limit global warming to 1.9°C if India and other countries live up to their carbon emissions pledges.
The first carbon neutral financial center
Data revealed that fossil fuel companies were using the Energy Charter Treaty to sue governments for losses they incur from national decarbonization obligations.
The agreement also included a demand from Ireland to cull 1.3 million animals to achieve climate goals.
For his part, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, made clear at the COP26 climate summit that London would become the world’s first carbon-neutral financial centre.
“The coal phase-out agreement is a key pillar of the UK’s COP26 strategy, as Britain set a primary goal for the summit of getting countries to develop national emissions-reduction plans that would cut global warming emissions in half by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.” According to senior figures told the Guardian before the start of the conference.
In its effort to bridge the gap between countries’ key commitments to cut carbon emissions and the amount needed to cut emissions by 45%, part of the UK’s strategy is to focus on key areas of climate importance – ‘money, coal, cars and trees’.
Many activists welcomed the deal on coal, which also included a commitment from more than 20 countries – including the US, UK and Denmark – to stop funding any fossil fuel development abroad by the end of 2022, and to transfer about $8 billion annually to energy investment. clean.
“This commitment on coal is certainly a huge step forward that would have been unimaginable a year or two ago,” said Chris Littlecott, social director of climate change think tank E3G.
However, other activists described this step as “not enough.” Jimmy Peters, campaign manager for Friends of the Earth – the largest environmental network – explained that the main point of this disappointing announcement is to allow coal – basically – to continue. For years now, according to the Guardian.
Peters saw that the agreement contradicts what the Prime Minister said in the opening session of the COP26 climate summit, asking: “Why is there a difference between words and deeds?”
In his opening speech to the COP26 climate summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned world leaders that they would face harsh judgment from future generations if they did not act decisively.
“The world’s anger and impatience can only be contained if we make COP26 the moment we get really serious about climate change, and that includes coal, cars, money and trees,” he added.
Stop the development of fossil fuels
Experts believe that for the world to stay within 1.5 degrees Celsius, advanced economies will need to phase out coal before 2030, instead of the 2030s, according to the agreement announced on Wednesday evening.
For its part, the International Energy Agency has called for all new development of fossil fuels to be halted, starting this year.
The agency’s executive director, Fatih Birol, also called on the world to abandon coal, which produces more carbon than other sources of electricity, to tackle the climate crisis.
Although South Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines have not signed the coal-phasing deal, they have agreed deals that will lead to the early termination of many existing coal-fired power plans.
SOURCE : ATTAQQA