Sunday, 28 November, 2021
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Climate Summit

77 countries pledge to phase out use of coal-fired power

77 countries pledge to phase out use of coal-fired power

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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."

Alok Sharma, British president of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, said the two-week meeting was on its way to gradually ending use of the world's most widely used fuel - for which demand is set to hit a new record this year.

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.