Asian Power Generation Gets Cleaner, Even as Coal Emissions Rise

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Asia boosted clean electricity output and slashed its share of fossil fuels faster than North America and Europe from 2015, data shows, underscoring resistance by Asian nations to a western push to choke private financing for coal-fired power.

There is wide agreement that increasing clean power, such as wind and solar, is central to curbing carbon emissions to fight climate change. On Saturday at the U.N. climate summit, 118 governments, led by the U.S. and the European Union, pledged to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity by 2030.

However, China and India did not back the COP28 pledge as it was twinned with curbing use of fossil fuels, which they see as essential to reliably meeting rapidly rising power demand.

Bolstering their view, even with coal, higher financing costs and weaker access to funds, Asia outpaced Europe and North America in fighting climate change by key measures since the Paris climate agreement of 2015, a Reuters analysis of data found.

Asia boosted clean power, including hydro and nuclear, as a share of overall power output by about 8 percentage points to 32% between 2015 and 2022, a review of data from energy think tank Ember showed.

By comparison, clean energy’s share in the power mix in Europe rose over 4 percentage points to 55%, while in North America it climbed by more than 6 percentage points to 46%.

“There cannot be any pressure on India to cut down emissions,” India’s power and renewable energy minister R.K. Singh said on Nov. 30.

Source : Reuters