Among the first countries to appear at the summit meeting on Monday will be India. The vast majority of its electricity comes from burning coal, and it continues to develop new coal mines and new coal-fired power plants, often with state subsidies, even as it ramps up renewable energy.
Later in the morning comes Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal.
China, the world’s coal juggernaut, will follow later in the day. So, too, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kenya — three countries where Chinese state-owned companies are building, or want to build, coal-fired power plants.
Coal is beginning to lose its luster in many countries, but not in the Asia-Pacific region. India, for instance, is eager to unearth the coal it has under the ground, and its government is seeking to privatize the coal-mining sector, including by inviting foreign bids for the first time, Reuters reported.
Worldwide, the global coal plant pipeline has shrunk by half over the last three years, but there are lots of new coal-fired power plants still in the planning stages — and if they go forward, emissions would rise sharply, a report issued last week by the German advocacy group Urgewald found.
...Notably absent from the Monday summit will be other champions of coal: Australia, which recently authorized the opening of a vast new coal basin, and Japan, which continues to fund coal projects around the world.