Both China and India, the biggest coal-consuming nations, have been ramping up output from mines in recent weeks to ease an autumn energy crisis that caused widespread power shortages and disrupted industrial activity.
India and China’s intervention at the Glasgow talks saw a call to accelerate the “phase-out” of unabated coal power downgraded to a pledge to “phase-down” use of the fuel. COP26 President Alok Sharma, who apologized to the conference over the revisions, told the BBC the two nations will need to justify their actions to countries that are most vulnerable to climate change.
Efforts to “reduce the proportion of coal consumption is an incremental process,” that’ll require the developed world to both end use of the fuel earlier than developing nations and to offer those countries funding and technology to make the transition, Zhao said.
China attaches “high importance” to the energy transition, and has recently set out major steps including a target to reduce coal consumption from 2026 and to end the building of overseas power projects that use the fuel, he said.