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October 25, 2021
I know, you’re sick of reading about COP. Here’s your coal crib sheet.
By Katie Auth

The issues swirling around coal are messy and contentious (not unlike almost everything else about this year’s COP…). Luckily, the Hub’s got you covered:

All eyes on India. Between now and 2040, energy demand in India (already the world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases) is forecast to double. Coal remains the country’s primary energy source and the government has indicated it has no intentions of changing that any time soon.

  • Mark Thurber explores why gas isn’t a larger part of India’s climate strategy, and what the government might do to change that.
  • Swati D’Souza identifies growing opportunities for gas outside the power sector, but concludes it’s unlikely to make up a major part of India’s future without a concerted policy push.
  • And Vijaya Ramachandran (with CSIS’s Sandeep Pai) make the case for why those pointing to India as a ‘climate boogeyman’ are holding the country to a standard they would never apply to themselves.

How to pay to accelerate coal retirement? Ending global coal consumption will require rich countries to step up: to decarbonize their own energy systems, and to help finance the transition for others. That first part isn’t going so well… but there is momentum building behind financing solutions to help emerging economies transition away from coal, including one for South Africa that may get announced in Glasgow.

  • Morgan Bazilian, Brad Handler and I lay out three mechanisms with which public funders could help take coal assets offline quicker, while supporting impacted communities and renewable replacements.
  • And Catrina Godinho explains why the time is right to focus on South African coal, and what ‘a square deal’ might look like.

And don’t worry — there’s no ‘coal renaissance’ coming in Africa. Fears of exploding coal consumption in Africa are widespread, but the data behind them is murky at best.

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