What are Powering Past Coal Alliance members doing to transition from coal to clean electricity? What are the challenges that members have faced and overcome? And how we can use the momentum of the Alliance to advance further action?
Canadian and British representatives came together at the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit to provided diverse and in-depth views on the challenges and some of the solutions that governments and organizations are weighing when phasing out unabated coal.
Patricia Fuller, Canada's Ambassador for Climate Change, told the audience -
"A growing number of national governments, states, cities and businesses agree that phasing out coal is not only acheivaable but the right thing to do for our evironment economy and our health.
"Indeed the shift from traditional coal electricity represents an enormous opportunity for national and subnational governments to be part of the global clean growth opportunity worth 23 trillion dollars between now at 2030 according to the world bank.
"Phasing out coal could be one of the defining actions of our time in terms of protecting the environment. For those in the audience representing governments or businesses which are not yet members of the PPCA, I hope you will consider joining the alliance and consider contributing to the largeer goal of achieving a zero carbon economy."
Nick Bridge, UK Government Special Representative for Climate Change said
"There is simply no sustainable future for the planet without a more aggresive phase out of coal powered energy generation.
"From a UK perspective there is an incredibly compelling story around theis. We had the first coal powered generation in the world that powered the industrial revolution. In the 1800s it was central to our process, but there was a day last year that we had a day without coal for the first time since 1882.
"It's a shift that tells a bigger story of the end of kind of one industrial revolution and the beginning of another.
"Every country is different, it has different challenges. This is not a case of demonising countries. It is about saying we have to do it. So we've brought this alliance together to say, we have found a way to do this."
They were followed by presentations and discussion about the challenges and solutions to coal phase-out. We were honoured to have the participation of:
- Ailun Yang – International Program Officer, Environment Team, Bloomberg Philanthropies
- Hon. Lesley Griffiths AM – Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning, and Rural Affairs, Wales
- Candice Johnston – Director, Coal Transition, Electricity and Sustainable Energy, Alberta
- David Danner – Chairman of Transportation and Utilities Commission, Washington State
- Adam Zurofsky – Deputy Secretary for Energy and Financial Services, Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
- Colleen Regan – Head of US Utilities and Market Reform, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
- Paul Bodnar – Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute
Closing remarks were provided by Minister Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Republic of Ireland.
A short film, produced in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies provided a compelling international case study with practical guidance to help other communities phase out coal.