|The International Energy Agency has forecast that global demand for coal will grow by 4.5% this year, with Asia making up 80% of that rise. Coal-fired electricity generation accounts for about a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, making it the biggest polluter. (Photo by= Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Some of the world's biggest financial institutions are working on a plan to speed the closure of coal-fired power plants in Asia, the BBC has been told. The initiative was developed by UK insurer Prudential is being driven by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and includes major banks HSBC and Citi.
The ADB hopes the plan will be ready for the COP26 climate conference, which is being held in Scotland in November. The plan aims to tackle the biggest human-made source of carbon emissions. Don Kanak, the chairman of Prudential Insurance Growth Markets, who developed the initiative, told the BBC: "The world cannot possibly hit the Paris climate targets unless we accelerate the retirement and replacement of existing coal-fired electricity, opening up much larger room in the near term for renewables and storage."
Under the proposal, which was first reported by the Reuters news agency, public-private partnerships will buy coal-fired plants and shut them far sooner than their usual operating lifespan. The ADB hopes to launch a pilot program in a developing Southeast Asian nation - potentially Indonesia, the Philippines or Vietnam before the COP26 event in November. Aspects of the plan that are yet to be finalized include how coal plant owners can be convinced to sell them, what to do with the plants after they are closed, and what role if any carbon credits could play.