Coal use is one of the multitude of issues dividing industrialized and developing countries as they seek to tackle climate change. The Udangudi plant is one of nearly 200 coal-fired power stations under construction in Asia, including 95 in China, 28 in India and 23 in Indonesia, according to data from U.S. non-profit Global Energy Monitor (GEM).
This new fleet will produce planet-warming emissions for decades and is a measure of the challenge world leaders face when they meet for climate talks in Glasgow. The United States alone has retired 301 plants since 2000. But in Asia, home to 60% of the world’s population and about half of global manufacturing, coal’s use is growing rather than shrinking as rapidly developing countries seek to meet booming demand for power.