The United States committed Saturday to the idea of phasing out coal power plants, joining 56 other nations in kicking the coal habit that's a huge factor in global warming. U.S. Special Envoy John Kerry announced that America was joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which means the Biden Administration commits to building no new coal plants and phasing out existing plants. No date was given for when the existing plants would have to go, but other Biden regulatory actions and international commitments already in the works had meant no coal by 2035.
Investors have been piling into an exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to track U.S. natural gas prices, in spite of the commodity's dismal performance in 2023. The U.S. Natural Gas Fund's (UNG) price, tied to the performance of futures contracts on the commodity, has plunged 60.7% so far this year, falling 27% in November alone. Analysts said the drop in the ETF's price came alongside a fall in the price of natural gas sparked by milder than usual weather across the United States in recent weeks.
Japan will stop building new coal power plants that do not have emission reduction measures in place, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Friday. "In line with its pathway to net-zero, Japan will end new construction of domestic unabated coal power plants, while securing a stable energy supply," Kishida said. The pledge comes as energy-scarce Japan grapples with balancing its carbon emission reduction target of 46% by 2030 from 2013 levels with its increased reliance on fossil fuels after suspending many of its nuclear power plants following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.