Demand for the world’s dirtiest fuel slumped last year, as the effects of the pandemic slowed down production and use of coal. However, forecasts indicate a rebound in demand of the fuel and now fears of worsening climate risks are resurfacing.
Burning of coal to produce electricity contributes the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions. After a switch away from the fuel, demand for coal is forecast to see a 4.5% rise, and the power sector is the main driver of this growth. This is corroborated by data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), just two days before the celebration of the International Earth Day on Thursday, April 21, 2021.
With about a decade to go to meet the 2030 deadline of the SDGs, Goal 13 stands critical. Scientists have warned that the world could lose its last opportunity to prevent the effects of climate change from escalating. That is if global greenhouse gas emissions are not halved by 2030.
The IEA report highlights how the rebound looks in major economies such as China, the US, India, and the EU. Among these countries, China is the only one to have recorded an increase in coal demand during the pandemic. Yet, this uptick in demand is likely to continue by more than 4% in 2021.
To mark the celebration, the African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina joined 40 heads of state and governments for the Leaders Summit on Climate Change.
Notably, the President of the US, Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau among others were present in the virtual summit to mark the day.
These global leaders accented to increasing their country’s efforts to upgrade climate targets set to more than 40%.
Contributions by global leaders at the summit
President of the US, Joe Biden noted that his outfit has plans to triple climate-financing in developing countries by 2024.
“Meeting this challenge requires mobilizing financing on an unprecedented scale. The private sectors already recognized this – they know that climate change is more than a threat. It also presents the largest job opportunities in history.”
“But the private sector has more to do and must do. Let’s be clear, even then the private sector cannot meet these challenges alone, governments need to step up and may need to lead,” he averred.President Joe Biden, US President
Specifically, Akinwumi Adesina underscored the Bank’s focus on contributing immensely to addressing climate change. He noted that the Bank has earmarked $25 billion to climate finance over the next four years. The Bank’s share of financing devoted to climate increased from 9% to 35% between 2016 and 2019 and will increase to 40% this year, he indicated.
Furthermore, David Malpass, President of the World Bank indicated that in its new action plan, the World Bank will spend huge amounts to obtain optimal results. He said that such an action is rather infectious and will cause others to follow.
Also, the IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva made a proposal to the world leaders indicating the need for a robust carbon pricing. She also mentioned the need to decline giving out carbon subsidies, going forward.
“Our analysis shows that without it, we will not reach our climate carbonization goals. It also shows that a mix of steadily rising carbon prices and green infrastructure investment could increase global GDP by more than 0.7% a year over the next 15 years…”Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director
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