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The United States and six other countries join the alliance to abandon coal

The United States and six other countries join the alliance to abandon coal

USACzech Republic, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Kosovo and Norway announced this Saturday at COP28 their accession to the global alliance to abandon generation with coala “signal to the global market” that analysts hope can encourage disinvestment in this fossil fuel.

The special climate envoy of USA., John Kerry, defended at the climate summit of the UN celebrated in Dubai the need to “gradually” abandon coal that does not have technology to capture emissions (in English the term ‘unabated’ is used), in order to meet its goal of achieving 100% CO2-free electricity in 2035.

Kerry urged the world to join the North American country and join the “Powering Past Coal” Alliance – of which Spain has been a part since 2021 and in which 80% of the countries of the region are already included. OECD-, and stressed that “the first step is to stop aggravating the problem: stop the construction of new power plants. coal”.

USA It has the third largest capacity of coal plants in operation, only behind China and India, although in the last decade, the North American country has not built any new plants and is on track to close more than half of its plants.

Analysts from different organizations, such as Climate Analytics, Solutions for Our Climate or Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), applauded the news, and assured a group of journalists present at the COP28 that the fact that USA has joined the initiative may encourage other countries such as Korea, Japan, India or China to also commit.

USA is a large consumer of coal, has a huge fleet of coal of over 200 gigawatts, so this is hugely symbolic, not only in terms of emissions, but also because the US is stepping up on the international stage and saying that they are going to abandon coal on a path aligned with the degree and a half,” celebrated Leo Roberts, energy transition specialist at E3G.

The head of climate diplomacy at the Solutions for Our Climate organization, Vivian Sunwoo Lee, also appreciated that USA is “taking the reins and sending a very clear message that economies must move away from coal”, something especially important in its native Korea, where it also “must be progressively eliminated and have a clear date for accelerating the exit of coal.”

”Korea made the first announcement to no longer finance public funds abroad in April, at Biden’s Climate Summit in June, and Japan, in the G7, committed to the same thing,” the expert highlighted, “as well as China did at the UN General Assembly in September.”

”All of this reflects the market and people’s tendency to think that the more we invest in carbonn, more stranded assets we will have,” he added, adding that the US step forward reinforces that trend and sends the message that investing in new generation with coal will mean a decline in the economy.

However, experts also highlighted that the date that the US has set as a deadline to completely abandon the coal be 2035, since “it does not allow progress at the speed necessary to meet the Paris objectives”, the goals that the countries assumed in 2015 so that global warming does not exceed one and a half degrees or two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The climate scientist and director of Climate Analytics, Bill Hare, highlighted for his part that the commitment of USA is to leave behind the coal “reduced” -which does not have CO2 capture and storage systems-, when “in the most recent assessment of the IPCC it is quite clear that what we need is not reduced carbon, but for carbon to be left out.”

The capture and storage of CO2 is “too expensive” for energy generation with coalhe said, and also entails “major environmental problems.”

Source: Gestion

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