Commonwealth nations the United Kingdom and Canada are leading a new global alliance which aims to phase-out the use of, and reliance on, traditional coal power and accelerate clean growth
Commonwealth nations the United Kingdom and Canada are leading a new global alliance which aims to phase-out the use of, and reliance on, traditional coal power and accelerate clean growth.
As members of the `Powering Past Coal Alliance’, launched during the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November, 2017, government representatives agreed to phase out existing uses of traditional coal power and suspend construction and operation of any new traditional coal power stations that do not have operational carbon capture and storage.
Businesses and other non-government members have also committed to focus on using alternatives to coal to power operations.
Furthermore, partners in the alliance will collaborate to share best practices and real-world examples of phasing-out coal, including through climate financing, and will support practical initiatives that enable transition towards clean energy.
According to the International Energy Agency, power plants fuelled by coal produce almost 40% of global electricity.
Air pollution from burning coal causes severe respiratory diseases and many other health issues, as well as being the lead contributor to climate change.
Recent analysis by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that over 800,000 people die each year from the pollution generated by burning coal.
Research by Climate Analytics shows that the complete phase out of coal needs to have occurred by 2030 in the OECD and EU28, and by 2050 globally, in order to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2°C and enable goals set by the Paris Agreement to be met.
Costs for generating electricity from solar and wind have significantly decreased, meaning clean power is now the low-cost option in many countries worldwide.
Global investments in new renewable energy have surpassed those in coal-fired electricity, with economies seeing environmental, economic and health benefits worth trillions of dollars.
In addition to the UK and Canada, Commonwealth countries Fiji and New Zealand have also pledged their commitment to the alliance at its inception.
The alliance aims to have 50 partners by the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice in 2018.