Africa: The World Is Addicted to Coal - It's Time for the Planet to Go Into Rehab

opinion

One of the biggest reasons that the debate around transitioning to low-carbon economies is so sensitive is because it is directly tied to jobs. Every time a coal mine is shut down, people lose their jobs. In some cases, the entire town where the mine was located dies. We need a just transition to a green economy to overcome these threats.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has, once again, exhorted world leaders to end our deadly addiction to coal. Speaking at a Powering Past Coal Alliance event, the secretary-general urged all nations to:

Cancel all coal projects in the pipeline. The top Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, in particular, are encouraged to take the lead on this priority;

End international financing of coal and provide greater support to developing nations to help them transition to zero-carbon energy sources; and

Develop a plan to start working on the just transition.

Guterres further stated that "phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to get in line with the 1.5-degree goal."

It is important to understand just why coal is so toxic. Electricity and heat production account for roughly 25% of all greenhouse gas...

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