Thursday, December 13, 2018

Climate Talks Work on Fair Way to Phase Out Coal Use

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Canada, answers a question during the Concordia Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. (Credit: Reuters/Jeenah Moon) Click to Enlarge.
Governments attending climate talks in Poland are working to ensure economies and jobs are preserved in the shift away from coal-fired power generation, Canada’s environment minister said.

The debate about coal use has threatened to overshadow discussions on developing renewable and low-carbon energy at U.N. climate talks in Katowice, a city that lies in the heart of Poland’s Silesia coal mining region.

Delegates from nations that rely heavily on coal power have called for a “just transition” from fossil fuels to ensure the shift to cleaner energy does not hurt jobs and economies.

“The issue of a ‘just transition’ - how you support jobs - is top of the minds of governments,” Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister for environment and climate change, told Reuters.

“Coal, practically, isn’t coming back but it is important we all look at opportunities and recognize we need to talk about workers and communities.  That’s a big issue here in Poland but it is also an issue in Germany,” she said.

A U.N. report said in October that renewable energy would need to supply the bulk of world electricity by 2050 to keep global warming within a 1.5 degrees limit.  Coal would have to fall to under 2 percent from almost 30 percent now.

Read more at Climate Talks Work on Fair Way to Phase Out Coal Use:  Canada

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