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Quantifying the regional stranded asset risks from new coal plants under 1.5°C

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Abstract: A global phaseout of unabated coal use is critical to meeting the Paris climate goals. This transition can potentially lead to large amounts of stranded assets, especially in regions with newer and growing coal fleets. Here we combine plant-level data with a global integrated assessment model to quantify changes in stranded asset risks across locations and over time. With new plant proposals, cancellations, and retirements over the past five years, global committed emissions in 2030 from existing and planned coal plants declined by 3.3 GtCO2 (25%). While these emissions are now roughly in line with near-term (2030) Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, they remain far off track from longer-term climate goals. Building all proposed coal plants in the pipeline leads to a 24% (503 GW) increase in capacity and a 55% ($520 billion) increase in stranded assets under 1.5ºC. Stranded asset risks fall
 disproportionately on emerging Asian economies with newer and growing coal fleets.

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