At COP26 on Thursday, more than 40 countries announced an agreement to stop burning coal. The agreement includes 23 new countries signing on to a promise to stop building new coal plants, including some of the world’s largest coal users. “The end of coal is in sight,” said COP President Alok Sharma.
The United States did not sign the pledge, however, nor did China, India, or Australia.
The text of the pledge, the Financial Times reported, said signatories would cease burning coal in the 2030s “or as soon as possible thereafter” — a substantial delay compared to the original goal of 2030. American officials abstained from the agreement, the New York Times reports, out of a fear of angering West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, who receives income from the coal brokerage he founded and his son continues to run.