• UN chief tells Tsinghua University forum coal should have no place in recovery plans

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has told an online gathering of students from China’s Tsinghua University that there “is no such thing as clean coal, and coal should have no place in any rational recovery plan”, as Reuters reports. Mr Guterres’ comments come in the context of reports of an increase in approvals for new coal-fired power plants in China, which he referenced when stating that it “is deeply concerning that new coal power plants are still being planned and financed, even though renewables offer three times more jobs, and are now cheaper than coal in most countries”. He went on to say that the nature of China’s response to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis would have a major impact on the world’s ability to meet the 1.5oC target of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and that the country had a chance to seize the mantle of leadership to “help protect all people who share this planet”. A Chinese environment ministry special adviser responded to Mr Guterres by promising that China would increase its efforts to enhance global climate governance and contribute to a green global recovery from the crisis.