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Make coal history, says UK PM Johnson after climate warning

Consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources


Coal should be consigned to history to limit global warming, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, as he hoped that the latest study by climate scientists would be a "wake-up call" for the world to take action now.

Reacting to the landmark study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which found it was unequivocal that human activity was responsible for global warming, Johnson said the world must shift to clean energy and provide finance to help countries at risk from changing climates.

"Today's report makes for sobering reading, and it is clear that the next decade is going to be pivotal to securing the future of our planet.

"We know what must be done to limit global warming - consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the frontline," Johnson was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The report by the IPCC - the UN group on the science of climate change - said climate change was already here and causing chaos in some places.

The publication comes less than three months before the UK hosts a key climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow.

The UK government, which has adopted a 2035 deadline for a 78 per cent emissions cut, is due to publish its strategy on cutting UK emissions to zero overall by 2050 this autumn.

"The UK is leading the way, decarbonising our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades," Johnson said.

"I hope today's IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now, before we meet in Glasgow in November for the critical COP26 summit."

The UK has already drastically reduced the use of coal, with consumption falling from 61 million tonnes in 2013 to eight million tonnes last year. But the country remains dependent on other fossil fuels such as natural gas, which provides most home heating and about 40 per cent of electricity.