What went right this week: progress at COP26, plus more positive news

190 countries pledged to reduce coal investment

The number one priority on any climate action plan is to eliminate coal. The first week of COP26 saw some positive progress with 190 countries agreeing to stop all investment in new coal plants. 

Among those signing up are heavy users such as Poland, Vietnam and South Africa, which is set to receive $8.5bn (£6.3bn) in aid to help it move away from coal.

The commitment has two broad targets: 2030s for the rich world economies and 2040s to develop countries. It places great emphasis on the need for a “just transition”, to help those employed in the sector find work in other industries.

The agreement was hailed as a significant step towards reducing the single largest driver of global warming. However, sceptical activists pointed to the planned new coal mine in Cumbria as casting doubt on the UK’s own commitment. Greenpeace, however, was critical of the agreement’s lack of specific target dates. 

Overall, though, it’s being seen as, at the very least, a welcome additional nail in the coffin of coal power.

Image: Dominik Vanyi