Type to search

China, India Will Need To Explain Coal Move: COP26’s Sharma

India, backed by China and other coal-dependent developing nations, rejected a clause calling for a ‘phase out’ of coal-fired power, and the text was changed to ‘phase down’ at the UN climate talks


Coal
Workers drill at an open cast coal field at Dhanbad district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Photo: Reuters

 

China and India will need to explain to developing nations why they pushed to water down language on efforts to phase out coal at the COP26 conference, the event’s president Alok Sharma said on Sunday.

UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, ended on Saturday with a deal that targeted fossil fuels for the first time.

But India, backed by China and other coal-dependent developing nations, rejected a clause calling for a “phase out” of coal-fired power, and the text was changed to “phase down”.

“In terms of China and India, they will on this particular issue have to explain themselves,” Sharma told a news conference at Downing Street in London.

 

‘Phase Down’ Or ‘Phase Out’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Whether the language was ‘phase down’ or ‘phase out’ doesn’t seem to me as a speaker of English to make that much difference.

“The direction of travel is pretty much the same.”

Johnson said COP26 had delivered a mandate to cut the use of coal-powered generation that was backed up by real action from individual countries.

“When you add all that together, it is beyond question that Glasgow has sounded the death knell for coal power,” he said at the press conference.

But he said his delight at the progress achieved was tinged by disappointment that the deal did not go further.

“Sadly, that’s the nature of diplomacy,” he said. “We can lobby, we can cajole, we can encourage, but we cannot force sovereign nations to do what they do not wish to do.”

 

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

 

 

ALSO READ:

 

 

WATCH MORE:

Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

logo

AF China Bond