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US joins in other nations in swearing off coal power to clean the climate

by Lucas Garcia
2 comments
coal phase-out

The United States has officially joined a global initiative aimed at phasing out coal power plants, aligning with 56 other nations in this effort to combat the significant role coal plays in contributing to global warming. U.S. Special Envoy John Kerry made the announcement, indicating that the Biden Administration is now part of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. As a member, the U.S. commits to not constructing new coal plants and gradually phasing out existing ones. While no specific deadline for retiring existing coal plants was provided, ongoing regulatory actions and international commitments suggest a transition away from coal by 2035.

In a statement, John Kerry emphasized the mission to accelerate the worldwide cessation of unabated coal use, promoting stronger economies and more resilient communities. The initial step in this endeavor is to refrain from constructing new, unabated coal power facilities.

It’s worth noting that coal power plants in the United States have been dwindling due to economic factors, with no new coal projects in development. Market dynamics, driven by the cost-effectiveness of natural gas and renewable energy sources, have been steering the nation towards phasing out coal by the end of the decade.

As of October, coal accounted for just under 20% of the United States’ electricity generation, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. This represents a significant decrease compared to 2008 when coal consumption was more than twice as high.

The environmental impact of coal is considerable, as it produces approximately 211 pounds (96 kilograms) of heat-trapping carbon dioxide per million BTUs of energy produced. In contrast, natural gas emits about 117 pounds (53 kilograms), and gasoline about 156 pounds (71 kilograms) of carbon dioxide per million BTUs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The United States has been advocating for other nations, especially China and India, to transition away from coal, given its higher carbon emissions compared to alternative energy sources.

This recent decision by the United States to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance sends a strong international message, demonstrating the nation’s commitment to addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions. The alliance, which was established six years ago with 50 member countries, has now expanded to include the United States and six others, such as the Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic.

Kosovo’s Environment Minister, Artane Rizvanolli, highlighted the importance of international cooperation and support in the challenging task of transitioning to clean energy. Kosovo’s membership in the Powering Past Coal Alliance reaffirms its dedication to a socially just and environmentally friendly energy sector.

For more climate-related news, you can visit http://www.apnews.com/climate-and-environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about coal phase-out

What is the Powering Past Coal Alliance?

The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a global initiative aimed at phasing out coal power plants. It consists of multiple countries, including the United States, and focuses on reducing the use of coal as a major energy source to combat climate change.

What does the United States commitment to the alliance entail?

The United States’ commitment to the Powering Past Coal Alliance means that it will not construct new coal power plants and will work towards gradually phasing out existing ones. While no specific deadline for retiring existing coal plants was mentioned, it aligns with other actions and commitments that suggest a transition away from coal by 2035.

Why is coal being phased out?

Coal is being phased out because it is a major contributor to global warming. It releases a significant amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide when burned for energy, making it a key factor in climate change. Additionally, market forces have been driving the decline of coal due to the cost-effectiveness of alternatives like natural gas and renewable energy sources.

How much of the United States’ electricity generation comes from coal?

As of October, coal accounted for just under 20% of the United States’ electricity generation, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. This represents a substantial decrease compared to its use in 2008.

What are the environmental implications of coal compared to other energy sources?

Coal produces about 211 pounds (96 kilograms) of heat-trapping carbon dioxide per million BTUs of energy produced. In contrast, natural gas emits about 117 pounds (53 kilograms), and gasoline about 156 pounds (71 kilograms) of carbon dioxide per million BTUs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Why is international cooperation important in transitioning to clean energy?

International cooperation is vital in the transition to clean energy because climate change is a global issue that requires coordinated efforts. Joining alliances like the Powering Past Coal Alliance allows countries to share expertise, resources, and support in moving towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

How does the United States’ participation impact the global effort to combat climate change?

The United States’ decision to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance sends a strong international message about its commitment to addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions. It also adds significant weight to the global effort to phase out coal, especially when encouraging other nations, like China and India, to transition away from coal power.

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2 comments

Reader22 December 3, 2023 - 8:02 am

wow, US join big coal ending team, many country together stop coal, so cool!

Reply
EcoWatcher1 December 3, 2023 - 12:32 pm

Good news but need more date about when coal plant close, but happy US make move.

Reply

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