Overseas Coal Financing: A roadblock on the race to ‘Net-Zero’

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In their commitment to curb greenhouse emissions, South Korea would stop all new financing of coal plants overseas while countries such as Japan and China continue to receive criticism for their continued coal policies.

Despite Nations setting ambitious goals to cut down their carbon emissions in the hope of reaching carbon neutrality, policymakers face the challenge of drawing a clear line across economic growth and carbon neutrality.

Coal is the largest contributor to energy-related CO2 emission and a cornerstone of electricity generation.

Many developing nations in hopes of meeting their unmet energy needs, seek overseas investment in coal-fired power to fuel their rapid economic growth as they lack the resources, technology, and grid infrastructure for cleaner alternative options.

Climate experts contend that despite the increasing demand for coal, with analyst predicting greater spending on infrastructure and industry post-COIVD, that rapidly abandoning fossil fuels and shifting from old-school heavy industry will benefit growth, innovation, health, and the environment.

The aftermath of the transition

To transit away from coal one must confront the costs of closing mines and plants, including the needs of millions of potentially displaced miners and other workers in addition to a nations ability to fill in the void for stable energy sources, jobs and create the necessary infrastructure whilst adopting new technologies to continue fueling their industry growth.

A Government cannot simply close down a mine because of global warming. This creates a strong contradiction and moral obligation between economic progress and promoting greener growth.

Sources: CNBC, The New York Times