A new global pact to transition away from coal power, announced on Thursday at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, has been compromised by the refusal of the world’s biggest emitters to sign on.
The host British government has made it a primary goal of the United Nations conference to “consign to history” the fuel currently responsible for about 30 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, and succeeded in getting some heretofore coal-friendly or coal-reliant countries – such as Indonesia, Poland, South Korea and Vietnam – to be among more than 40 nations joining the agreement.
The president of the COP26 summit, British MP Alok Sharma, said the developments mean that the end of coal is “in sight.” But the United States, China and India – which together account for roughly 70 per cent of the world’s coal consumption – were among those did not sign on.
That was despite the pact being tailored to draw in signatories by using less stringent criteria than a pre-existing anti-coal coalition – also spearheaded by Britain, along with Canada – that confusingly also announced new members on the same day.
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