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Pressure on Asia to cancel new coal projects

Six countries including BD can remove four-fifths of planned projects

September 15, 2021 00:00:00

With six nations accounting for over 80 per cent of planned new coal projects globally, winning commitments to cancel those projects could help November's COP26 UN climate summit "consign coal power to history", a key goal of organisers, researchers said, reports Reuters.

Proposed new coal power capacity globally has plunged 76 per cent 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 Inter-national Energy Agency.

Countries with significant coal deposits or energy systems reliant on the fuel have been slow to abandon it, tied down in part by the costs of abandoning still-functioning plants and mines or reluctant to break commitments to new plants.

China also remains a major funder of new coal energy, even as declining prices for solar and wind power make green energy more competitive than coal in most parts of the world.

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