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  /  News   /  : COP26 produces pact to end foreign fossil-fuel funding, but China and Japan are missing

: COP26 produces pact to end foreign fossil-fuel funding, but China and Japan are missing

More than 20 countries have pledged to stop funding foreign fossil-fuel projects, but the holdouts — China, Japan, South Korea and Spain — weaken the effort, climate officials said Thursday.

Those four countries, in the two years through 2020, gave some $32 billion to fossil fuel projects
BRN00,
+0.90%

abroad, according to analysis by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth.

The nonbinding pact, whose signatories include the U.S., U.K., Canada and the latest addition, Italy, which had balked earlier, aims to stop foreign fossil-fuel funding by the end of 2022.

The announcement, along with an earlier alliance on coal, was made from the U.N.’s major climate summit, known as COP26, underway in Scotland.

The agreement applies to new, direct public support for unabated fossil fuel energy projects. U.K. energy minister Greg Hands said it has the potential to shift more than $15 billion annually of public finance, Bloomberg News reported from Glasgow.

Meanwhile, the dramatic drop in carbon dioxide emissions from the pandemic lockdown has pretty much disappeared in a puff of coal-fired smoke, much of it from China, a new scientific study found.

At the height of the pandemic last year, emissions were down to 34.8 billion metric tons, so this year’s jump is 4.9%, according to updated calculations by Global Carbon Project.

While most countries went back to pre-pandemic trends, China’s pollution increase was mostly responsible for worldwide figures bouncing back to 2019 levels rather then dropping significantly below them, said study co-author Corinne LeQuere, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

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