An ambitious target to halt financing for fossil fuel projects abroad

GLASGOW (CU)_In another major achievement at this year’s climate summit in Glasgow, more than 20 countries and financial institutions pledged to halt financing fossil fuel projects overseas from next year and redirect those funds to clean energy development. The agreement will prevent the funding of any fossil fuel development, including gas, although the countries involved can continue developing their own fossil fuel resources at home.

Two of the world’s largest energy producers, the United States and Canada, are said to have signed up for the initiative, which is another critical step in reaching the 1.5 goal. However, two major funders of fossil fuel development around the world, China and Japan, have shunned the agreement. Currently, the United States has nearly 25 pending fossil fuel projects abroad, which could account for at least 1.6 gig tons of potential greenhouse gas emissions. The United Kingdom, the host of the COP26, is also licensing new oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

According to officials, if every one of the countries implements this goal, it would direct a total of about $15 billion a year of public money from fossil fuel to clean energy development.

Canada, the biggest oil producer in the Commonwealth has recently accelerated its contributions towards the 1.5°C goal, despite growing opposition from the country’s powerful energy sector.

With the environment being one of the major concerns of Canadians, tackling the climate crisis has been a priority for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, since he took office in 2015. However, after the Liberals failed to win a majority government in the federal election in September, party officials said some progressive voters had been disheartened by the government’s green record.

Accordingly, the government has launched several initiatives and has made ambitious commitments to minimise the country’s carbon footprint. “During the election campaign, the Liberal Party committed not to a specific date, but to phasing that out domestically as well. That is something we’ll be working on,” Canada’s minister of natural resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, said during an interview on Wednesday evening.

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