Stories by Justin Guay

Expert Voices

Indian states ending coal expansion advance goals of UN Climate Week

meeting hall at UN headquarters in New York City
A session of the 2018 UN General Assembly. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS via Getty Images

The decisions reached this month by two Indian states, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, to stop building new coal plants align with a renewed call by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to end all such construction by 2020.

Why it matters: India's pipeline of planned new coal plants ranks second in size only to China's. These commitments by its state governments come ahead of next week's Climate Summit at the UN General Assembly, where countries will face strong pressure to back off support for expanding coal facilities.

Expert Voices

Despite decline in new coal plants, emissions targets still at risk

a coal-fired power plant behind an open field
A coal-fired power plant in Salaya, India. Photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

If most of the world's proposed new coal facilities are ultimately built, their output would far exceed the level required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Driving the news: A Global Energy Monitor report found that 538 GW of coal plants are still under consideration around the world. This represents a 62% reduction in proposed coal plants over the past 3 years — from a proposed 1,427 GW in 2015 — but still amounts to much more than the global carbon budget can absorb.

Expert Voices

Energy transition prompts more insurers to back away from coal

cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant
Cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant. Photo: Federico Gambarini/picture alliance via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Chubb became the first U.S. insurance company to limit coal-related underwriting and investing, expanding a global trend that has seen 15 companies — underwriting a total of $313 million in premiums — announce new policy restrictions.

Why it matters: The proliferation of coal-exclusion policies at globally significant financial institutions — 113, according to the the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis — is leading large, diversified mining and utility companies to reduce their exposure to coal, and in some cases to exit the coal industry altogether, to avoid losing access to finance.