A report from E3G, Global Energy Monitor and Ember argues: “The global pipeline of proposed coal power plants has collapsed by 76% since the Paris Agreement in 2015, bringing the end of new coal power into view.”

See also: Most plans for new coal plants scrapped since Paris agreement

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Consign away

by Milan on August 12, 2021

in Coal mining

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has caught up with the climate science of 30 years ago, now saying:

We know what must be done to limit global warming – consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the frontline.

Of course, the statements and choices of politicians have a tendency to diverge.

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The Government of Canada has issued a statement on thermal coal (the kind burned for heat and electricity, as opposed to metallurgical coal used in steel production):

The continued mining and use of coal for energy production anywhere in the world is not environmentally sustainable and does not align with the Government of Canada’s commitments, both domestically and internationally, with respect to combatting climate change. Accordingly, the Government of Canada considers that any new thermal coal mining projects, or expansions of existing thermal coal mines in Canada, are likely to cause unacceptable environmental effects. This position will inform federal decision making on thermal coal mining projects.

They don’t exactly say that all new coal projects will be blocked (still less production and exports from existing projects), but they do add:

The statement indicates that the Government considers that these projects are likely to cause unacceptable environmental effects within federal jurisdiction and are not aligned with Canada’s domestic and international climate change commitments. Accordingly, this position will inform federal decision making on thermal coal mining projects.

The Pembina Institute is calling the announcement “fully aligned with global climate action.”

Other sources note that this may lead to the cancellation of Coalspur Mines’s Vista mine expansion in Alberta.

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The Guardian reports:

Solar, wind and other renewable sources have toppled coal in energy generation in the United States for the first time in over 130 years, with the coronavirus pandemic accelerating a decline in coal that has profound implications for the climate crisis.

Not since wood was the main source of American energy in the 19th century has a renewable resource been used more heavily than coal, but 2019 saw a historic reversal, according to US government figures.

Coal consumption fell by 15%, down for the sixth year in a row, while renewables edged up by 1%. This meant renewables surpassed coal for the first time since at least 1885, a year when Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and America’s first skyscraper was erected in Chicago.

As always with fighting climate change, it’s not enough to be moving in the right direction; we need to move toward decarbonization quickly enough to prevent climate change from getting out of control. Accelerating, completing, and replicating the US abandonment of coal must be a durable worldwide project.

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Germany scrapping coal by 2038?

January 19, 2020

In 2014, I posted about an article about how Germany and Japan were reverting to coal after the Fukushima disaster. I just saw this: Germany to phase out coal by 2038 in move away from fossil fuels BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany should shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest, […]

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Banks could stop funding fossil fuel extraction

September 17, 2019

Bill McKibben has a New Yorker article out where he describes how banks could hasten the transition to decarbonization by increasingly refusing to lend to the fossil fuel industry: So what would happen if, tomorrow, Chase announced that it was going to phase out lending to the fossil-fuel industry—probably first by restricting loans for particular […]

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Coal subsidies continuing

June 25, 2019

The Guardian is reporting that G20 countries have tripled their subsidies for coal: The figures, published in a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and others, show that Japan is one of the biggest financial supporters of coal, despite the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, having said in September: “Climate change can be life-threatening to […]

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U.S. coal trends

January 4, 2019

The Economist reports: [A]ccording to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in America dropped by 2.7% in his first year of office. This was the biggest reduction anywhere in the rich world. Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist who now heads the EPA, has been quick to praise “President Trump’s […]

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No end of bad news

October 8, 2018

The IPCC has issued a new warning about how we have a stark and immediate choice between abandoning fossil fuels or dangerously destabilizing the Earth’s climate. If anything, we seem less well prepared than ever to respond. Instead of a brave experiment in cooperation and moving beyond narrow notions of national sovereignty, the EU is […]

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Good news from Finland

September 5, 2017

A Finnish government representative is saying they will introduce legislation to phase out coal and bring in a carbon tax in 2018. Their efforts to build new nuclear reactors are less promising.

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