Fwd: It is time to kill coal

Our cover this week looks at coal, the main source of greenhouse gases [image: The Economist]
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December 3RD 2020 *The Economist* this week
Highlights from the latest issue [image: The Economist]
Our cover this week looks at coal, the main source of greenhouse gases. In America and Europe consumption has fallen by 34% since 2009. The International Energy Agency reckons that global coal use will never again surpass its pre-covid peak. Yet coal still accounts for 27% of the raw energy used to power everything from cars to electric grids. More important, unlike natural gas and oil, it is concentrated carbon, and thus it accounts for a staggering 39% of annual emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. If global emissions are to fall far enough, fast enough, the task now is to replicate the West’s success and repeat it in Asia. Technology will help. Solar farms and onshore wind are now the cheapest source of new electricity for at least two-thirds of the world’s population. But the politics of coal are treacherous, even for autocratic governments. If Asia is to complete the revolution started in the West and consign coal to museums and the history books, much work lies ahead.
*Zanny Minton Beddoes* Editor-In-Chief *Editor’s picks*
Must-reads from the current edition [image: Image article 1]
America and Iran
Back to the future
Joe Biden wants to re-enter the nuclear deal with Iran. It sounds simple, but he faces some big obstacles —————————— [image: Image article 2]
Business software
Get me some Slack
The boss of Salesforce has his sights set on tech’s big league —————————— [image: Image article 3]
Tiger balm
Covid-19 has ravaged economies all over the world—but not Taiwan’s
It has fended off the epidemic and is welcoming back firms that had decamped to China —————————— [image: Image article 4]
A country struggles to be born
We speak to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Belarus’s leader in exile
For those rising up against a dictator, it is a time of monsters —————————— [image: Image article 5]
How Ping An, an insurer, became a fintech super-app
Could others follow the Chinese firm’s lead? —————————— [image: Image article 6]
To ski or not to ski?
Why shutting down Europe’s resorts is proving so tricky —————————— [image: Image article 7]
The Economist Asks: Viggo Mortensen
How to talk about dementia—in real life and on screen
This week we speak to Viggo Mortensen, the actor best known for playing Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, about making his directorial debut and the future of indie film-making —————————— *The world this week*
Britain became the first country to license a fully tested vaccine for covid-19. The medicines regulator gave its approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab following a “rolling review” process, used to assess promising vaccines during a health emergency. Data from the vaccination programme will continue to be reviewed as they become available. Priority distribution will start within a week. America is expected to approve a vaccine soon and the EU by the end of the month. →
*More from politics this week *
Salesforce agreed to buy Slack for $27.7bn, combining its range of business software with a chat platform tailored to companies. United they will increase competition for Microsoft, which has pulled ahead of many rivals in this year of working from home, when firms have relied on cloud services more than ever. Microsoft’s Teams platform has also been a formidable challenger to Slack. Shares in Slack have performed poorly compared with other providers of remote tech. →
*More from business this week * See full edition → *In case you missed it*
One of our most popular stories from the past seven days [image: Image article 8]
1843 magazine
Mindfulness is useless in a pandemic
Living in the present has never felt more overrated —————————— *From Economist Films*

Care after covid
The future of elderly health-care
Across the rich world around half of covid-19 deaths have been in care homes. Countries need to radically rethink how they care for their elderly—and some innovative solutions are on offer —————————— *Subscriber event*

Free to attend
The year in review with our editor-in-chief
Join Zanny Minton Beddoes and her team to recap a tumultuous 2020 and its impact on world events, from the pandemic to the US elections. Thursday December 10th at 4pm GMT / 11am EST / 8am PST. Click to register. ——————————
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