Phasing out traditional coal power is essential for Canadians and people around the world to enjoy clean air, healthy communities, a safe climate, and cleaner economic growth.
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and the UK’s Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, are pleased to be working with Bloomberg Philanthropies going forward to achieve the goals of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. The Alliance, founded by Canada and the UK, is an international group of multi-level governments, private businesses, and other organizations dedicated to reducing the world’s reliance on conventional coal power.
The ministers announced the new collaboration at the Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit, in New York City, where dozens of Canadians representing the electricity sector, clean-technology businesses, and provincial governments joined Minister McKenna and delegates from around the world to discuss today’s critical energy issues and the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.
Ministers McKenna and Perry will be working with Michael Bloomberg, head of Bloomberg Philanthropies and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action, to further advance the efforts of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment program brings together a wide range of partners to address some of the most serious threats to our environment, including climate change, through initiatives such as their Sustainable Cities program, Clean Energy program, Vibrant Oceans Initiative, and Sustainable Finance Initiative.
The collaboration will involve producing new research and case studies showcasing how countries and sub-national governments are working to rapidly phase out the use of coal for power as well as to inspire and inform further efforts to retire coal-fired power plants in a practical, sustainable, and economically inclusive way.
Burning coal is a major source of carbon and air pollution, which can travel far distances, impacting communities in Canada and elsewhere. Canada’s climate action on coal-fired electricity is building on global momentum to drive innovation and clean-technology development, which will open new economic opportunities for Canadians for years to come.
While at the Summit, Minister McKenna also participated in a ceremony announcing the 10 finalists for the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition, which seeks to inspire bright minds to develop breakthrough technological solutions to reduce carbon pollution and harness the economic opportunities it presents. Four teams from Canada moved into the final round.
The Government of Canada is proud to support and promote Canadian firms developing clean technology and climate solutions. Investing in the development, use, and export of Canadian innovation and expertise is essential to capitalize on the global market for clean solutions—worth trillions of dollars and growing.
“I'm thrilled the Powering Past Coal Alliance is teaming up with Bloomberg Philanthropies to support and accelerate the global shift away from coal-fired electricity. Pollution from coal power is choking cities and causing close to a million premature deaths each year. But today, the world is powering past coal as the costs of pollution and climate change become clear and as clean electricity sources overtake fossil fuels as the most affordable option. The economy and the environment go together. In fact, the global market for clean-energy solutions is worth trillions of dollars and growing. Shifting to cleaner sources of power is the right choice for Canada’s economy, the planet, and our kids.”
Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- The Powering Past Coal Alliance advances efforts to phase out global coal-fired electricity. Launched by Canada and the UK—at the United Nations’ climate change conference in November 2017—its membership has grown to 28 countries, 8 sub-national governments, and over 25 businesses and organizations.
- In New York City, the Powering Past Coal Alliance officially welcomed as new members Ireland; Lithuania; Canadian companies, the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition and XPND Capital; and major energy utility firms in the UK, SSE and Drax.
- In December 2017, Canada and the World Bank announced a partnership to accelerate the energy transition in developing countries and, with the International Trade Union Confederation, to provide analysis to support efforts toward a just transition away from coal, within Canada.
- In February 2018, Canada announced proposed regulations to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.
- The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is sponsored by major US and Canadian energy companies as well as the Canadian government. The competition, announced in 2015, challenges global teams to develop carbon-dioxide-capture-and-conversion technologies that can be applied to either coal or natural-gas power plants.
- Canada is home to more than 750 clean-technology companies and a rapidly growing clean-technology export industry.
- In Canada, the renewable-energy sector employed about 24 000 people, six years ago. Clean energy is the country’s fastest-growing sector. Worldwide, jobs in solar and wind energy have doubled since 2012