Twenty-eight countries have joined an international alliance dedicated to phasing out coal, but the world’s biggest polluters are not among them. The new members of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), which include Ukraine, Poland and Singapore, bring the total number of national governments involved to fortyeight.
However, China, India and the United States, the three biggest burners of coal worldwide, have not signed up to the PPCA. Other major users and producers of coal, such as Australia and Japan, have also not joined the group. However, some U.S. states and cities, including Philadelphia, New Jersey and Los Angeles, are members of the alliance.
Coal, which fuels more than a third of the energy consumed worldwide, is the single biggest contributor to climate change. Among the new members announced on Wednesday, Poland is the second-largest consumer of coal in Europe and the region’s biggest coal producer, while Singapore is the first Asian country to join the PPCA. Other additional signatories include Chile, Estonia and Mauritius.
The PPCA, whose existing members include the U.K., New Zealand and Germany – Europe’s largest consumer of coal – is working to “advance the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.”
Some major financial institutions, including HSBC, Fidelity International and Vancity – which all joined the alliance on Wednesday – are also counted among its members.
It comes as coal remained a hot topic at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Thursday. U.K. lawmaker Alok Sharma, who is serving as COP26 president, said, “the end of coal is in sight.” He noted that it was the first time that countries like Poland, Vietnam and Chile had committed to end the use of coal. According to a May report from the IEA, to achieve a net zero emissions economy by 2050, investments in new unabated coal plants must be stopped immediately.