World builds more coal power in spite of pollution, pledges and coal end-date

The world is still developing new coal power, in spite of it being the most polluting fossil fuel, of promises to phase down coal and despite agreements that all coal stations should close by 2040.

These are the damning conclusions of a report by California-based NGO Global Energy Monitor (GEM), which tracks energy projects around the world.

Nearly all newly commissioned coal projects are in China, said GEM, which called China the “glaring exception to the ongoing global decline in coal plant development”.

The world already has around 2,100 gigawatts (GW) of capacity already, while an additional 176 GW of coal capacity is under construction at more than 189 plants, and a further 280 GW is planned.

The global capacity to burn coal grew by 19.5 gigawatts last year, enough to light up about 15 million home.

That 1% increase comes just as the world should be retiring its coal fleet four and a half times faster to meet climate goals, the report said.

“At this rate, the transition away from existing and new coal isn’t happening fast enough to avoid climate chaos,” said Flora Champenois, the report’s lead author.

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