Coal’s last boom? World’s dirtiest fuel isn’t being put out of business anytime soon – by Bianca Bharti (Financial Post – November 30, 2021)

At the end of the climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Alok Sharma, president of the United Nations’ 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), fought tears as he announced that 197 countries had only been able to agree to “phasing down” the use of coal, rather than “phasing out” one of the main sources of global warming.

“May I say to all delegates I apologize for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry,” Sharma, a minister in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet, said at the culmination of the two-week summit on Nov. 13.

China and India, each a big polluter with populations that exceed one billion people, refused at the last minute to commit to quitting coal. Sharma’s failure to secure a consensus to end coal’s reign wouldn’t have surprised anyone watching commodity markets. The pandemic has stirred up multiple economic forces that undermine the prevailing narrative that the dirtiest fuel source is on its way out.

“Is this the final market run for coal? I would say probably not,” Andrew Blumenfeld, who analyzes North American coal markets at IHS Markit, said in an interview.

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