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COP27

Coal Was Meant to Be History. Instead, Its Use Is Soaring

The demise of the dirtiest fossil fuel has been delayed as power shortages and the war in Ukraine drive consumption, while China and India construct new plants. 

A conveyor bridge over piles of coal at an open-cast coal mine in South Africa.

A conveyor bridge over piles of coal at an open-cast coal mine in South Africa.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Last November in Glasgow, the world’s climate leaders were locked in a fierce debate over whether the final draft of the summit’s agreement should include a pledge to “phase-out” or “phase-down” coal.

Since then, the more appropriate term would probably be “phase-up.”