* Japan, S.Korea plan 61 new coal plants in next 10 years
* Energy ministry officials say no changes since climate deal
* Critics say both countries could have done more
* New cleaner coal power plants will emit less than old (Adds graphic over thermal coal consumption in Japan and S.Korea)
SEOUL/TOKYO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Less than a week since signing the global climate deal in Paris, Japan and South Korea are pressing ahead with plans to open scores of new coal-fired power plants, casting doubt on the strength of their commitment to cutting CO2 emissions.
Even as many of the world's rich nations seek to phase out the use of coal, Asia's two most developed economies are burning more than ever and plan to add at least 60 new coal-fired power plants over the next 10 years.
Officials at both countries' energy ministries said those plans were unchanged.
Japan, in particular, has been criticised for its lack of ambition - its 18-percent target for emissions cuts from 1990 to 2030 is less than half of Europe's - and questions have been raised about its ability to deliver, since the target relies on atomic energy, which is very unpopular after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant.......MUCH MORE
India Says Paris Climate Deal Won't Affect Plans to Double Coal Output
There's a lot of pledges. There's a lot of promises. But there seems to be no mechanism for getting countries to comply other than wagging your finger at them and shaming them. Am I wrong?
SEC. JOHN KERRY:
Well, that's the most powerful weapon in many ways, but it's not the only weapon. And in fact we think there are other powerful weapons. President Obama understood, and believe me, he's been really committed to getting this done. And it's his leadership in America on our own climate action plan that gave us credibility here. And the President's been able to do that without some of that enforcement mechanism, but by setting policy. Here we set policy. 186 countries came together and each submitted their own plan for reductions according to their capacities....