China, India, US accused of evading coal-fired power deal

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China, India and the United States are accused of resisting the coal-fired power deal and weakening the fight to phase out fossil fuels

  • China, India, US and Australia accused of weakening commitment to phase out coal
  • Kwasi Kwarteng said the engagement of 190 world leaders was a “milestone”
  • Jennifer Morgan of Greenpeace said that without the United States, China, India and Australia, the end of coal-fired electricity “will not come soon enough”










China, India, the United States and Australia were accused last night of weakening a commitment to phase out coal-fired electricity.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the engagement of Cop26 by 190 world leaders and bodies was a “milestone.”

But three of the world’s coal-fired power giants are not listed. The United States is the world’s third largest producer of coal with 634 million tonnes per year, behind India – 730 million – and China – a whopping 3.5 billion.

Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace, said: “Without the United States, Australia, China and India, there is a very real danger that the end of coal-fired electricity will not come soon enough.”

China, India, the United States and Australia were accused last night of weakening a commitment to phase out coal-fired power (stock image)

She added, “It’s one more nail in the charcoal coffin, but only one, and the coffin is not yet sealed. Yes, there are important countries that have signed, such as Vietnam and Egypt. This is further proof that coal is dying and the end is in sight… So if you are a part of a coal company, today is a bad day. But not as bad as it should have been.

It also emerged yesterday that richer countries have been given the option of extending their coal-fired electricity scrapping deadlines by 2030.

The Financial Times pointed to adding the clause by 2030 “or as soon as possible thereafter.”

Ms Morgan, of Greenpeace, added: “The deadline of the 2030s or as soon as possible thereafter for richer countries always offers a loophole. For example, Germany’s target date for the end of coal is 2038 – far too late – but they nevertheless felt able to sign this agreement because it is in the 2030s.

“So there has been a big rotation here, but even taking that into account, it’s still a bad day for coal.”

Nigel Topping, an official who worked on the Coal Pact on behalf of the UK government’s chairmanship of the climate summit, said the US absence from the deal was not a blow.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) said Cop26's commitment by 190 world leaders and bodies was a

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (photo) said the engagement of Cop26 by 190 world leaders and bodies was a “milestone.” But three of the world’s coal giants are not listed

Murray Worthy, Global Witness Campaign Manager, said: “This announcement falls dramatically short of what is required at the moment. A deal that deals only with coal doesn’t even solve half the problem – oil and gas emissions already far exceed coal and are booming, while coal is already entering a terminal decline.

“The science is absolutely clear, all fossil fuels must be phased out if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. A truly ambitious energy deal to put the world on the 1.5C path would be a phase out of coal, oil and gas. It’s a small step forward when a giant leap was needed. ‘ In 2020, global oil and gas emissions were estimated at 18.8 gigatonnes of CO2, while emissions from coal were 13.7 gigatonnes of CO2. In the past five years, coal emissions have already decreased, while gas emissions are increasing by 3% per year.

Separately, the “Glasgow Declaration” – a pact to protect the world’s forests – caused problems after Indonesia’s environment minister called it “inappropriate and unfair”.

The deal was made with 100 world leaders who signed the global pledge to stop the destruction of the world’s great forests.

But Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s environment minister, attacked the deal his government had reached two days earlier.

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