| 5 February 2023, Sunday |

COP26: China defends move on joining India to ‘phase down’ instead of ‘phase out’ coal

China asked developed countries to stop using the coal first and provide financial aid to developing countries to adopt green technologies, as it defends its move on joining with India in changing “phase down” instead of “phase out” of coal in the final text of the COP26 conference declaration.
Responding to COP26 Chairman Alok Sharma’s comments who was highly critical of China and India for rejecting calls on “phasing out” coal firepower, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing, “To optimize energy structure and reduce the proportion of coal consumption is an incremental process. The varying national conditions, development stage and resources endowment of different countries should be respected.”
The official said a complete phase out of coal was not possible, as many developing, and least developed countries don’t have adequate finance for an alternate source of energy.
“In many developing countries, not everyone has access to electricity and energy supply is not adequate. Before asking all countries to stop using coal, consideration should be given to the energy shortfall in these countries to ensure their energy security,” he said.
“We encourage developed countries to take the lead in stopping using coal while providing ample funding, technological and capacity-building support for developing countries’ energy transition. We need concrete actions more than slogans,” Zhao added.
On Saturday, negotiators from nearly 200 countries accepted a new climate agreement after the COP26 summit in Glasgow concluded with the deal, which recognises India’s intervention for the world to “phase down” rather than “phase out” fossil fuels.
Alok Sharma said he was “deeply frustrated” after India, backed by China and other coal-dependent developing nations, refused to completely end use of coal energy.