(Bloomberg) -- Group of 20 diplomats have all but given up on their lofty goal of consigning coal to history and are instead closing in on a more modest plan to stop governments funding foreign coal-fired power plants, according to people familiar with the situation.

With the energy crisis changing the dynamics of diplomatic talks, several emerging nations continue to push back against even this smaller goal -- which the G-7 signed up to in June and China has already committed to. The U.K. and Italy, who have been pushing the climate agenda at international talks this year, had been hoping to secure a phase-out of coal at home and abroad in the run-up to COP climate talks this month.

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The G-20, which includes the world’s top emitters, will set the scene for the COP negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, which have been billed as a make-or-break summit to curb global warming. Last week, preparatory G-20 talks ended in gridlock with no consensus on striving for net-zero emissions or limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. There was even some backsliding since the summer, according to people familiar with the matter. 

As G-20 leaders prepare to meet on Oct. 30-31 in Rome, the energy crisis rattling Europe and Asia has thrown into sharp relief the importance of energy security and the risks of giving up fossil fuels before alternatives are ready to pick up the slack. China has ordered miners to dig up as much coal as they can; India is calling for more oil output, and even the U.K. is using more coal-fired power. In the U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate plans are in peril in Congress, undermining his ability to persuade others to make ambitious green pledges.

The U.K. hosts of COP have made it their goal to “consign coal to history,” and President Alok Sharma says it’s his “personal priority”. But even at the G-7 in June in England, where leaders made pledges to cut emissions, they failed to nail down a deal on phasing out the dirtiest fossil fuel at home. 

Negotiations continue, and there’s still room for compromise. According to one official, diplomats are also considering including commitments at the G-20 on methane -- a potent greenhouse gas that’s increasingly in focus after the U.S. and EU forged an alliance to reduce emissions. 

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