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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Global coal report suggests big challenges for COP28


4 min read

Row of coal plant and chimney set against blue sky, with water and green vegetation in foreground Photo: Adobe Stock 
Taiwan’s 5.5 GW Taichung coal-fired power station is said to be the fourth largest in the world – gas and wind turbines have been added to the 10 coal units in recent years

Photo: Adobe Stock 

Hosted in the oil and gas rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) and presided over by the CEO of the country’s national oil company, COP28 already holds controversy. But with global coal consumption still rising, in Asia at least, the event in November faces considerable fossil fuel challenges, writes Nick Cottam.

In the run-up to COP28, the UN’s annual climate change conference, the issue of coal will likely present itself as a sticking point. Committing to the phase-out of coal remains a bone of contention, notably for the behemoth economies of China and India, but also elsewhere. Delegates will come to the conference knowing that demand for the black stuff is as high as ever and is set to reach record levels in 2023, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) research.


Coal won’t be the only energy conundrum at this year’s COP. The process of transitioning to a low-carbon, clean energy, global economy is undoubtedly in train – witness the dramatic growth of wind and solar – but progress in different parts of the world is at best uneven and at worst both muddled and confusing. COP28 may help to clarify targets and galvanise further action, but don’t hold your breath.


More coal, poor grid connections and inefficient, sometimes corrupt, energy systems are among the major challenges to the ideal of what has become known as a just transition.


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