Global coal-fired capacity decreased by more than 2.9 gigawatts from January to July this year, the first time in recorded history that worldwide capacity to produce energy from coal has gone down, according to data released by Global Energy Monitor on Monday.
In the United States and several other countries, coal plant capacity declined, although it did go up in other nations, such as China, according to The Hill.
Currently operating coal plants worldwide now have a capacity of 2047 gigawatts following the decline in the first half of the year.
Global Energy Monitor’s coal program director Christine Shearer wrote in an analysis of the findings that the loss of coal capacity was due to slower commissioning connected to the coronavirus crisis, as well as “record retirements” in the European Union as a result of tighter regulations.
Shearer added “Despite the decline in the global coal fleet, meeting global climate goals requires a much more rapid reduction in coal power use, with generation falling by at least half this decade in pathways that limit warming to well below 2C, and up to three-fourths for 1.5C.”
Burning coal emits more carbon dioxide than burning other fuels such as natural gas or gasoline, according to The Hill.
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