In 2015, the world gathered in Paris and committed to take action to spur on clean growth and avoid catastrophic climate change.
Coal-fired power plants produce almost 40 percent of global electricity today, making carbon pollution from coal a leading contributor to climate change.
The health effects of air pollution from burning coal, including respiratory diseases and premature deaths, impose massive costs in both human and economic terms. 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 unabated 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 [PDF] in the OECD and EU28, and no later than by 2050 in the rest of the world.
The cost of generating electricity from wind and solar have plummeted; with the result that clean power is the low-cost option in a growing number of jurisdictions worldwide. Global investments in new renewable power now significantly surpass those in new coal-fired electricity, and clean growth represents an opportunity worth trillions of dollars.
Countries moving to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies are already seeing environmental, economic and human health benefits. Our coalition wants to help accelerate that transition.
The Powering Past Coal Alliance brings together a diverse range of governments, businesses and organisations that are united in taking action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of unabated coal power.
We commit to achieve that phase-out in a sustainable and economically inclusive way, including appropriate support for workers and communities.
- Government members commit to phasing out existing unabated coal power generation and to a moratorium on any new coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage, within their jurisdictions.
- Business and other non-government members commit to powering their operations without coal.
- All members commit to supporting clean power generation through their policies (whether public or corporate, as appropriate) and investments, and to restricting financing for unabated coal power generation, ie without carbon capture and storage.
To support these goals, the members of the Powering Past Coal Alliance will work together to share real-world examples and best practices to support the phase-out of unabated coal, including through climate financing, and to adopt practical initiatives to support this transition, including through developing clean energy plans and targets.
We will also encourage our peers to join us in the Powering Past Coal Alliance to build a better world for our kids and grandkids.
Note: In September 2019, the PPCA responded to the growing demand for support on the transition from coal to clean energy by enabling membership for national governments that are in the process of developing and implementing ambitious actions on coal phase-out. Further information about membership criteria and the formation of a Declaration Group is provided in this PPCA news article.