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Our Story

End of coal is in sight

For decades, countries across the world relied on coal for power, jobs and wealth. That era is now ending. Science has made it clear that emissions from coal power are the single largest contributor to the climate crisis.

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PARIS AND BEYOND

In the Paris Agreement of 2015, all Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change agreed a framework to limit global warming to well below 2°C while striving to stay under 1.5°C. This highlighted the need for a complete transformation of our economies and societies, starting with radical action to eliminate coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel – from our energy systems.

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In the Paris Agreement of 2015, all Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change agreed a framework to limit global warming to well below 2°C while striving to stay under 1.5°C. This highlighted the need for a complete transformation of our economies and societies, starting with radical action to eliminate coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel – from our energy systems.

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early movers

Only a handful of governments had started drawing up plans showing that the task, though huge, was achievable and beneficial. The UK and Canada were leading the way. In 2015, the UK was the first nation to commit to ending coal power by 2025. A fellow early mover on coal, Canada announced in 2016 its plan to eliminate coal power by 2030. The global transition away from coal started gathering pace, as the costs of renewables plummeted.

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the alliance launches

Inspired by the first movers, more governments and companies stepped up to the plate and introduced measures to end coal power generation, starting to create an unstoppable tide. By launching the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) at COP23 in 2017, the UK and Canada brought the leaders together, turning their individual commitments into a diplomatic offensive to advance the transition from coal power across the world. 27 national, provincial, state, and city governments joined initially, endorsing the PPCA Declaration. The Alliance was hailed as a ‘political watershed’ and a new ‘anti-fossil fuel norm’.

PPCA DECLARATION
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Inspired by the first movers, more governments and companies stepped up to the plate and introduced measures to end coal power generation, starting to create an unstoppable tide. By launching the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) at COP23 in 2017, the UK and Canada brought the leaders together, turning their individual commitments into a diplomatic offensive to advance the transition from coal power across the world. 27 national, provincial, state, and city governments joined initially, endorsing the PPCA Declaration. The Alliance was hailed as a ‘political watershed’ and a new ‘anti-fossil fuel norm’.

PPCA DECLARATION
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the coalition grows

In 2021, the UK COP26 Presidency made the global exit from coal its absolute priority for the summit, and gave the PPCA a leading role in its coal diplomacy push. To build up international cooperation in support of this goal, in March, the Alliance convened leaders from government, business, and civil society for the first-ever PPCA Global Summit. Speaking at the summit, the United Nations Secretary-General gave the campaign a boost by urging countries to end ‘deadly addiction’ to coal.

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diplomacy push

In 2021, the UK COP26 Presidency made the global exit from coal its absolute priority for the summit, and gave the PPCA a leading role in its coal diplomacy push. To build up international cooperation in support of this goal, in March, the Alliance convened leaders from government, business, and civil society for the first-ever PPCA Global Summit. Speaking at the summit, the United Nations Secretary-General gave the campaign a boost by urging countries to end ‘deadly addiction’ to coal.

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COP 26

COP26 helped make headway to end coal power generation, thanks to the numerous new coal phaseout commitments and the pledge to phase down coal included in the final agreement. The Alliance itself boosted its ranks with an annual record number of 51 new members, expanding its reach to a quarter of all countries in the world. It also became a model for other fossil fuel phase out initiatives.

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The road ahead

While the end of coal is now in sight, the transition is still not fast enough to keep global temperature increase to 1.5°C. Leaders need to match the promises that were made at COP26 with concrete action and double down on eliminating coal from power generation. We know we must do more to support countries, especially developing ones, in meeting and surpassing their targets. By working together we can and will phase out unabated coal power and help ensure future generations have cleaner air, healthier communities and a sustainable planet for generations to come.

ESSENTIALS

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Joining the Alliance allows national and sub-national governments, and private sector groups to amplify the leadership that they are showing in phasing out unabated coal power.

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Declaration

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.

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Finance Principles

Through the PPCA Finance Taskforce launched in June 2020, underpinned by the PPCA Finance Principles, finance and government members and partners of the PPCA are working together to cease new investments in coal-fired power, phase out existing coal capacity and boost investments in clean energy.

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