Beginning of the end for Coal Power
DATELINE GLASGOW: The end of coal—the single biggest contributor to climate change—is in sight thanks to the UK securing a 190-strong coalition of countries and organisations at the UN climate negotiations (COP26), with countries such as Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, Chile and Morocco announcing clear commitments to phase out coal power. November’s commitments, brought together through UK-led efforts, including the new ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’, encompass developed and developing countries, major coal users and climate vulnerable countries.
This includes 18 countries committing for the first time to phase out and not build or invest in new coal power, including Poland, Vietnam, and Chile, marking a milestone at COP26 in the global clean energy transition. This statement commits nations across the world to: end all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally; rapidly scale up deployment of clean power generation; phase out coal power in economies in the 2030s for major economies and 2040s for the rest of the world; and make a just transition away from coal power in a way that benefits workers and communities.
This is on top of China, Japan and Korea, the three largest public financiers of coal, committing to end overseas finance for coal generation by the end of 2021, announced in 2020 during the UK’s incoming COP26 Presidency. Agreements at the G7, G20 and OECD to end public international coal finance send a strong signal that the world economy is shifting to renewables. This could end over 40GW of coal across 20 countries, equivalent to over half of the UK’s electricity generating capacity.