Problem with Coal

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management, Topic: Global Agreements and Efforts, Issue: GHG emission

Context: A report of the US-based think-tank, Global Energy Monitoring on phasing out coal based power

Green House Gas emissions by Coal based power plant:

  • Contribute a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Meeting Paris Climate Pact’s goal requires retiring 126GW of coal power plants annually until 2040.

Status of phasing out coal based power plant:

  • China and India’s growing coal power capacity hinders efforts to phase out coal.
  • China accounted for two-thirds of newly operating coal plants globally last year.
  • US coal decommissioning slowed in 2023, with a 2% growth in coal-fired power capacity.
  • China committed to retiring 30 GW by 2025 but only decommissioned 4 GW last year.
  • The US plans to retire 5 GW this year, the lowest since 2008.

The way ahead:

  • Green transition strategies must be tailored to the unique challenges of emerging and developing economies.
  • The International Energy Agency: IEA suggests implementing carbon capture technology in power plants.
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