COP26 ‘takes coal to history’ with pledges to end financial support

The number of countries pledging to phase out coal-fired electricity rose on Thursday, along with commitments to end public funding for it and the fossil fuel sector, as the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow has focused on the energy transition.

“We have been clear that COP26 must be the COP that takes coal back to history. With these ambitious commitments that we see today, the end of coal-fired electricity is now in sight,” said COP26 President Alok Sharma said in a statement.

At least 23 countries have made new commitments to phase out coal-fired electricity, including five of the top 20 coal-fired electricity consumers: South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Poland and Ukraine.

Major international banks pledged at COP26 to effectively end public funding for new coal-fired energy, while other financial institutions, including HSBC, Fidelity International and Ethos, pledged to end private financing of the relentless coal.

Ending public subsidies for fossil fuels was a new priority for the United Nations Conference of the Parties, which has met for nearly three decades.

At least 25 countries and public financial institutions have pledged to end public support for the fossil fuel industry by the end of 2022. This could shift as much as $ 17 billion annually from fossil fuel subsidies to the transition to clean energy.

With the end date of 2022, COP26 officials said in a statement Thursday that it is setting a new standard for international public finances to align with the Paris Agreement, and “sends a clear signal to private investors to follow “. The number of new coal-fired plants planned since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 has fallen by 76%, representing the cancellation of more than 1,000 gigawatts of new coal-fired plants, officials said. COP26.

Large institutional investors like California’s $ 489.9 billion public employee retirement system, Sacramento, have been pushing to end fossil fuel subsidies.

The joint declaration to end subsidies was organized by the UK and signed by the US, Italy, Canada and Denmark, among others. He also pledged to support a clean energy transition, while developed countries renewed their support to help developing countries switch to clean energy.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance co-chaired by the UK and Canada to phase out coal has added 28 new member countries, including Chile and Singapore.

Other countries have pledged not to build new coal-fired power plants or shift to clean energy sources, thanks to partnerships with climate investment funds and government banks like the Asian Bank. development program to support the early withdrawal of coal-fired power stations.

Six countries in Africa and five in Latin America have launched Green Hydrogen Alliances to launch the production of near-zero carbon green hydrogen for industries around the world.

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