Here are five things you need to know about the COP26 climate change conference on Thursday. 1. Pledge to quit coal Countries such as Poland, Vietnam and Chile, which rely heavily on coal – the single biggest contributor to global warming – are committing to move away from it. More than 40 countries have signed up to a statement to quit the use of the fossil fuel, and the UK government says 190 nations and organisations have pledged to stop using it. “The end of coal is in sight,” says Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. But some of the world’s biggest coal-dependent countries, including Australia, India, China and the US, didn’t sign up, which makes for “glaring gaps”, according to shadow business secretary Ed Miliband. There is also nothing about moving away from oil and gas, he adds. Follow our updates as the COP26 summit focuses on energy. Reuters 2. Rebounding CO2 emissions Global carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions are set to rebound to near pre-Covid levels. Gas emissions fell by 5.4% during lockdowns in 2020 but the scientific Global Carbon Project report predicts they will rise by 4.9% this year. Scientists, surprised by the findings, say this increase underlines […]

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