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COP26: More Than 40 Nations Agree To Quit Coal but China, US, India Abstain

It is important to remember however, how dependent India is on coal for power generation, jobs, and state revenue.

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Climate Change
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At COP26, the climate conference taking place in Glasgow, Scotland – which is attempting to unify countries in limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius – more than 40 nations have pledged to phase out coal-fired power, BBC reported on Thursday, 4 November.

Major coal users, including South Korea, Indonesia, Poland (despite not having a net-zero target), Vietnam, and Chile, are among the countries who have agreed to join this team effort.

But countries like China, India, the United States (US), and Australia, whose economies are hugely dependent on coal, did not join the commitment.

The countries that agreed to the deal now have an obligation to stop investing in new coal power generation both domestically and abroad.

The bigger economies present in the agreement are to phase out coal by 2030s, and smaller ones are to do the same by 2040s.

Other than sovereign countries, multiple financial institutions and banks have also pledged to withdraw support from the coal industry.

"The end of coal is in sight," according to United Kingdom (UK) business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarten, BBC added.

Coal burning emits carbon dioxide, which is considered to be the most significant contributor to global warming, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA also noted that the rise in use of polluting fuel due to the reopening of economies after many months of lockdown has led to a surge in carbon emissions, The Guardian reported.

While India has chosen to stay away from this anti-coal coalition, it is important to remember how dependent the country is on coal.

Power generation is mostly due to coal burning and millions of Indians already face problems in accessing adequate and reliable power supply.

A huge number of Indians rely on the coal industry for jobs.

Additionally, coal is a major source of revenue for the Indian state because of the crores it receives in dividends per year from Coal India.

(With inputs from BBC and The Guardian.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  India   Coal   Climate Change 

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