At least 18 countries on Thursday joined an international alliance to phase out the use of coal to generate power by 2030. At the United Nations climate conference in Germany’s Bonn, the Powering Past Coal Alliance said it aims to have 50 members by 2018, The Guardian reported.
The countries that pledged to stop using coal by 2030 are Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Mexico, Angola, Fiji and the Marshall Islands.
The United States, Germany and Australia refused to make the pledge. Australia Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg however said coal would continue to provide about a third of Asia’s electricity supply in 2040.
The United Kingdom has pledged to phase out the use of coal by 2025. “The case against coal is unequivocal,” said UK Climate Change Minister Claire Perry. “The alliance will signal to the world that the time of coal has passed.”
Canada Environment Minister Catherine McKenna asserted that the environment should not have to suffer because of the use of coal when the “price of renewables has plummeted”.
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine said the country was very disappointed that Australia had not joined the alliance. “They should be aware of the issues that are facing small island countries,” she said.
International NGO Greenpeace and UK charity Christian Aid lauded the alliance. However, Christian Aid said it was disappointed with the United States. “It is a rebuke to Trump from the UK and Canada, two of America’s closest allies,” the charity said.