Coal under fire in Warsaw conference

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WARSAW: Britain said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) that it would join the United States in a charge to curb financial aid for building coal-fired power plants abroad.

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The announcement was made at United Nations climate talks in Warsaw where the fossil fuel—the biggest single contributor to global warming—has been at the center of a storm.

“The UK will join the United States in agreeing to end support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas, except in rare circumstances,” Ed Davey, Britain’s energy secretary, told journalists in Warsaw.

“The two governments are going to work together to secure the support of other countries, and there are other countries who are already up to this . . . and the multilateral development banks to adopt similar policies,” he added.

Last month, the United States said that it would end most financing of coal projects overseas to help brake climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

The decision put into action one of the pledges US President Barack Obama made in announcing a new climate initiative in June.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged “much bolder” spending on measures to stave off climate change, which he called the “greatest single threat to peace, prosperity and sustainable development.”

“The rapid development of low-carbon infrastructure needs large injections of public capital,” he said.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that coal accounted for 44 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in 2011, the largest share, and remains the leading source of electricity and heat generation.

AFP

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