Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said:
Covid-19 has underlined the importance of being better prepared for potential crises on the horizon. It has also very clearly demonstrated that we can collectively come together to effectively combat great challenges. We all know that another crisis looms on the horizon. It is a crisis that will come on us far more slowly. It is also very clearly something that is going to have more significant impacts than Covid-19 if in fact we do not do something to change the course we are on presently. That is climate change. And climate change presents an existential threat to human health and our economic well-being.
Accelerating a global transition from coal-fired power is clearly one of the single most important things we, humans can do if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. This recognition is why Canada and the United Kingdom came together to launch the Powering Past Coal Alliance a little over two years ago. It is why Minister Kwarteng and I are here today, which is to welcome six new members to the ranks of the PPCA.
Today’s additions mean that the Alliance is now over 100 members strong and it is growing. This is an important milestone because it shows the growing reach and maturity of this Alliance. It signals a growing consensus that phasing out coal-fired power is not only necessary; it is realistic, and it is achievable. The fact that these new members are drawn from the financial sector is very significant. Increasingly, the financial sector is recognising the need to account for climate risk, and to invest in industries and companies that have strong, sustainable business models.
Kwasi Kwarteng, UK Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, said:
As citizens, communities and whole economies, we are facing the two greatest challenges of our time: climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. As we recover from Covid-19, the decisions that we make today will either lay the foundation for the sustainable and inclusive growth, or lock in polluting emissions for decades. And in doing that, they will make our societies more vulnerable. That's the reason why (...) we want to use our COP Presidency to help achieve that strong, green and fair recovery.
Progressive investors are leading the way on tackling climate change. The Powering Past Coal Alliance is clear that financial institutions are key to making coal phase-out an actual reality. More and more institutions are moving capital away from coal power to clean energy. I am delighted to announce that six new finance members have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance today as signatories of the Finance Principles.
(…) I am also pleased to announce that the PPCA is today launching a Finance Taskforce, where PPCA finance and government members, alongside PPCA partners, will work to cease (…) new investments in coal-fired power, and also phase out existing coal capacity. We will only achieve these goals working in collaboration. I encourage everyone here today to join and help us keep increasing momentum away from coal power and towards clean energy.