With six nations accounting for over 80% of planned new coal projects globally, winning commitments to cancel those projects could help November’s COP26 U.N. climate summit “consign coal power to history”, a key goal of organisers, researchers said.
Proposed new coal power capacity globally has plunged 76% since the Paris Agreement in 2015, with 44 countries agreeing to end new projects, according to a report by think-tank E3G released on Tuesday.
Asia however is still at the centre of the world’s remaining pipeline, which means action by six countries alone – China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh – could remove over four-fifths of planned projects before construction.
Ending the use of coal – the most polluting fossil fuel – for power production has been a key focus for climate change activists, leading to funding and insurance for new projects rapidly drying up.
Swiftly ending coal use is seen as vital to global goals of capping global warming at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and ideally 1.5C and avoiding swiftly worsening climate threats such as harsher storms, floods, wildfires and crop failures.
But coal remains a mainstay for power generation in Asia, which accounts for 75% of global coal demand, according to the International Energy Agency.