It's the end of coal, UK tells climate summit

77 countries have pledged to phase out coal - the dirtiest of the fossil fuels driving climate change.

The announcement was made at the COP26 U.N. conference by host Britain on Thursday (November 4).

The signatories have vowed to phase out coal-fueled power generation - which makes up more than 35% of the world's power.

They will also stop building new plants.

COP26 president Alok Sharma:

"Today I think we can say that the end of coal is in sight. The progress we've seen over the last two years would have seemed like a lofty ambition when we took on the COP presidency back in 2019. Who would have thought back then that today we are able to say that we are choking off international coal financing."

Twenty countries also pledged on Thursday to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of next year.

Instead, the United States, Canada and 18 others will invest in clean energy.

Campaigners called the commitment a 'historic step'.

The deal covers coal, oil and gas projects which burn fossil fuels without using technology to capture CO2 emissions.

One drawback, though, was that it did not include major Asian countries responsible for most financing abroad.

China, Japan and South Korea are the biggest backers of foreign fossil fuel projects in the G20.

But those countries have committed to stop overseas funding for coal - a pledge made by all G20 nations.

The International Energy Agency has said ending investments in oil, coal or gas supply projects is needed for the world to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050.

Scientists say achieving that is crucial for keeping the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius beyond preindustrial levels.

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