GLASGOW: UN conference host Britain said 77 countries had pledged to phase out coal, dirtiest of the fossil fuels that drive global warming, as a study showed the carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere had rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels, reports Reuters.
"We were expecting to see some rebound," said the study's lead author Pierre Friedlingstein, a climate modelling researcher at the University of Exeter. "What surprised us was the intensity and rapidity of the rebound."
He said on Thursday 77 countries had signed a pledge to phase out coal-fuelled power plants - which produce more than 35 percent of the world's electricity - and stop building new ones.
"Today I think we can say that the end of coal is in sight," Sharma told the conference.
He said progress had been rapid since 2019: "Who'd have thought, back then, that today we are able to say that we are choking off international coal financing or that we would see a shift away from domestic coal power?"
But the hurdles to reach the United Nations goal of "net zero" global emissions by 2050 are still enormous.