UK and Canada lead global alliance to phase out coal power


The United Kingdom and Canada are leading a new global coal alliance aimed at accelerating clean growth and achieving the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power.

More than 20 countries, including France, Finland, and Mexico, are part of the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” which also brings together a wide range of businesses and civil society organizations that have united for climate protection.

A declaration signed by the members of the alliance states:

The health effects of air pollution from burning coal, including respiratory diseases and premature deaths, impose massive costs in both human and economic terms. Recent analysis has found that more than 800,000 people die each year around the world from the pollution generated by burning coal.

As a result, phasing out traditional coal power is one of the most important steps governments can take to tackle climate change and meet our commitment to keep global temperature increase well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

To meet the Paris Agreement, analysis shows that coal phase-out is needed no later than by 2030 in the OECD and EU28, and no later than by 2050 in the rest of the world.

According to the International Energy Agency, coal-fired power plants produce almost 40% of global electricity, making carbon pollution from coal a leading contributor to climate change. Air pollution from the burning of coal causes severe respiratory diseases and has many other damaging health effects, in addition to being a key driver of climate change.

The member countries of the alliance, launched during the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, have agreed to phase out existing traditional coal power and place a moratorium on any new traditional coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage. Businesses and other non-government partners have in turn made commitments to focus on powering their operations without coal.

The partners in the Powering Past Coal Alliance will also work together to share real-world examples and best practices to support the phase-out of coal, including through climate financing, and adopt practical initiatives that support this transition toward clean energy. Member countries aim to grow the alliance to 50 partners by the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice.

The full text of the declaration can be found here

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