A study shows that hundreds of coal companies around the world are developing new mines and power plants. The researchers said the plans were “reckless and irresponsible” in the midst of the climate emergency.
Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel and its use must be phased out quickly to end the climate crisis. However, nearly half of the 1,000 companies evaluated are still developing new coal assets, and only 27 companies have announced coal exit dates in line with international climate targets.
The report found that new mining projects could increase the production of thermal coal used in power plants by more than a third. The bulk of these projects are in China, India, Australia, Russia and South Africa.
“Pursuing new coal projects in the midst of a climate emergency is reckless and irresponsible behaviour,” said Heva Schocking, director of Orgwald. “Investors, banks and insurers should ban these coal developers from their portfolios immediately.”
At the COP26 climate summit held by the United Nations in Glasgow last November, the world’s nations agreed to “accelerate efforts towards the phase-out of coal”. However, the International Energy Agency said in July that Coal burning was scheduled to rise in 2022It brought it back to the record level set in 2013. The rise is partly due to higher gas prices as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine, which made coal relatively cheaper.
The International Energy Agency said in May 2021 that No new coal-fired power plants can be built If the world is to remain within the safe limits of global heating and meet the net-zero emissions target by 2050. Some progress is being made, with 4% of new energy in 2021 will come from coaldown from about 30% in 2016. In contrast, 75% of new energy came from renewables, which are often cheaper and increasingly challenge the economic viability of new coal plants.
However, coal India It aims to double the amount of coal it mines to 1 billion tons per year by 2025, according to Urgewald’s analysis, making it the largest mining company on the list. “The coal mining rush is a testament to the industry’s complete denial of climate reality. The writing is on the wall, but coal miners refuse to read it,” Schocking said.
The report found that 476 gigawatts of new coal-fired power capacity is still in the pipeline worldwide, the equivalent of hundreds of new power plants. If built, the projects will increase the world’s coal power capacity by 23%. China Responsible for 60% of the planned new capacity.
“The world welcomed President Xi Jinping’s announcement in 2021 that China would stop building new coal-fired power plants abroad, but China needs to take similar measures for its domestic energy system if it wants to,” said Lady Nacpiel of the Asian Peoples Movement for Debt and Development. He became a representative of the 1.5 ° C world.
To reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the IEA says, all coal-fired power plants in rich countries must be shut down by 2030 at the latest and by 2040 in the rest of the world. Urgewald found that only 27 of the 1,064 companies had announced these coal exit dates. Of these, most were planning to convert to gas stations or sell them to another owner.
“At the end of the day, we identified only five companies with coal conversion plans that could be considered a Paris parallel,” Schocking said. “The vast majority of companies still do not intend to give up their coal assets, which is driving us towards climate collapse. Delays have become a new form of climate denial.”
The United States, which has the third largest number of coal plants in the world, has not set a national date for its coal power, unlike the United Kingdom, France and Italy. The Orgwald report said the US would need to draw 30 gigawatts of coal-fired power annually through 2030 to meet Paris climate goals, but only 8.4 gigawatts was shut down in 2021.
Lucy Benson, director of Reclaim Finance, who Classifies the coal policies of over 500 financial institutionsHe said, “Companies will not relocate unless banks, investors and insurance companies quickly stop all support for the expansion of the industry and require the adoption of closure plans.” She said that 190 financial institutions still do not have a coal policy, 272 have weak coal policies, and only 28 have effective coal exit policies.