LONDON (Reuters) – Britain led calls for an end to coal-fired power generation at United Nations climate talks in Bonn last month but at the same time British companies are active in coal projects around the world, often with government help.
In Britain, the use of coal in electricity generation has declined sharply since the introduction of a carbon tax in 2013, although the country remains a center of coal-mining expertise.
Many in the mining industry see no contradiction. They say coal remains the best option in some countries and it would be hypocritical for the developed world to deny emerging economies the power they need.
There is however a clash with the words of the British climate minister, who said the world needed to stop burning coal to meet U.N. targets to slow climate change. Britain led an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation in the EU and developed countries by 2030 and by 2050 worldwide at U.N. talks in Bonn on implementing the Paris agreement on climate change.
It also announced programs worth more than 300 million pounds ($400 million) to help developing countries tackle climate change.