In a major win in international diplomacy in the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, India on Saturday managed to convince the world to include coal to the 'phase down', instead of 'phase out' after days of negotiations.
India on finally backed the COP26 draft that was passed by nearly 200 nations.
There was some strong opposition to the inclusion of 'accelerating phaseout of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsides' - mainly from India and China, and supported by South Africa on coal and Iran & Nigeria on fossil fuel subsidies.
However, it's encouraging to see Australia, the US, Turkey, Colombia, Indonesia, and Japan support the text -- indicating a significant shift from their earlier stand.
Watering down of text on coal is indicative of the gap in financing and technology transfer -- something that developed countries will need to focus on moving forward.
Responding to the development, Dave Jones, Global Program Lead, Ember, said, "This is momentous: the net is closing in on fossil fuels and coal is at the frontline.
"Coal needs to be the first fossil fuel to go, and mid-century is clearly too late. Today is an urgent wake up call to do whatever it takes to stop using coal for making electricity.
"Final wording on 'phaseout' or 'phasedown' doesn't change that fact. Countries will need to submit new climate plans for 2030 by the end of next year, so there are only 12 months for countries to work out how to solve their coal problem."
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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