18 countries commit to coal phase out

18 countries commit to coal phase out
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Eighteen more countries are committing to end investment in new coal power and phase out the fuel in the coming decades. 

The commitment, spearheaded by the UK, comes as countries meet for a global climate summit and has also resulted in other commitments on methane emissions and deforestation.

As part of the new commitment, 18 countries including Poland, Vietnam and Chile will agree for the first time not to build or invest in new coal power domestically and internationally, according to a UK press release. 

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The countries committed to phase out coal power in the 2030s if they’re major economies or 2040s if they’re not. 

They also pledged to scale up deployment of clean power generation instead. 

The U.S. is not part of the pledge. Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden officials announce clean energy plans Biden administration announces actions bolstering clean energy  MORE did not give a direct answer when asked on a call with reporters why the U.S. did not join.

"We are doing every single thing we can to manage the public lands of the United States...with an eye toward climate change, with an eye toward the future that we need to provide for our children and our grandchildren," Haaland said.

The Interior Department is currently reviewing the program for leasing coal on public lands but it's not clear what changes, if any, will come from that review.

When it is burned, coal contributes more to climate change than other fossil fuels like oil or natural gas — making it a frequent target of environmentalists.

Similarly, news outlets reported on Wednesday that 20 countries including the U.S. were soon expected to end financing for overseas fossil fuel projects. 

The pledge announced on Wednesday comes on top of recent announcements from countries like China, Japan and Korea saying they would seek to soon end overseas financing for coal. 

Updated 3:23 p.m.