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Expand chart
Data: Global Carbon Project 2021; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The chart above illustrates why the new pledge by dozens of countries to phase out coal in the 2030s and 2040s at the COP26 summit has been one of the most attention-grabbing developments this week.

"Seeing major coal-burning economies such as Viet Nam, Indonesia, South Korea and Ukraine commit to a coal exit genuinely is the progress we need to see," said Pauline Heinrichs, of the climate think tank E3G, in a statement. (Indonesia's endorsement was partial, however.)

Yes, but: China, which accounts for about half of global coal demand, did not sign-on. Nor did India, another major user.

  • The U.S. didn't either, though Alok Sharma, the U.K. official presiding over COP26, noted the U.S. has endorsed decarbonized power in the 2030s via a G7 statement in May.

Go deeper

Bill Gates' TerraPower to build $4B nuclear power plant in Wyoming

TerraPower chair Bill Gates at an October event in London. Photo: Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images

TerraPower, the Bill Gates-founded nuclear power venture, announced Tuesday plans to replace a Wyoming coal-fired power station with a $4 billion advanced reactor demonstration project.

Why it matters: Roughly half of the project's funding will come from the U.S. government, including $1.5 billion from the infrastructure bill that President Biden signed into law this week, per an emailed statement from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

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Abrams’ campaign manager rules out 2024 run if she wins governor's race

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

In her first major interview since the official announcement, Stacey Abrams' campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo quashed speculation that the Georgia Democrat would interrupt a theoretical gubernatorial term to run for president in 2024.

Why it matters: Abrams' name has come up repeatedly as a top 2024 Democratic contender given President Joe Biden's age and Vice President Kamala Harris's low favorability rating.