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The Powering Past Coal Alliance welcomed Colorado and GAM Investments into the membership today during the ‘Net Zero and Coal Phase-Out International Conference’ – an international event organized by South Korean PPCA member and regional government Chungcheongnam. These new members are joining the Alliance despite the global energy crisis and just two months ahead of COP27. Colorado’s arrival brings total subnational PPCA membership to 49, across 13 countries, while GAM Investments brings financial institutions to 34. The two new members underscore the crucial role state, subnational governments and private sector organisations play in setting ambitious goals and driving effective government action on coal-phase-out.

PPCA welcomes two new members as key Asian-Pacific players share coal phase-out expertise in South Korea

The two new members include: 

  • Colorado, USA 
  • GAM Investments 

On 7 September 2022, key leaders and government officials from subnational jurisdictions and industry gathered in Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea, to share expertise and experience in phasing out coal-power generation in favour of clean energy sources.

The PPCA expanded its membership to include the state of Colorado, USA, which committed to phasing out its last coal plant by the end of 2030. Before negotiations under the Polis Administration and stakeholders from labour, local communities, energy producers, and electric utilities, Colorado would have closed its last coal plant in 2070. Colorado will instead switch off the plant by 1st January 2031 –40 years ahead of schedule. With the 2030 closure Colorado will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 84% in the electric sector and supply 87% of its electricity from renewable energy. 

GAM Investments, meanwhile, announced its commitment to the PPCA Finance Principles, joining investors and governments alike in accelerating the transition from high-polluting coal to cleaner energy. 

“The need to phase out emissions from coal power globally has never been greater. This measure alone can play a critical role in helping to keep temperatures from rising above 1.5ºC, reducing air pollution and smog, improving health and helping the world avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. Canada is proud to co-lead the Powering Past Coal Alliance with the United Kingdom. This Alliance is a global driver of momentum on climate action to create a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.” 

Canada’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change 

“Colorado is proud to join PPCA and show how a historically coal-dependent state can lead the transition from high cost coal to lower cost renewable energy. Working in close partnership with stakeholders across Colorado, we will close Colorado’s last coal plant by the end of the decade. In doing so, we’ll not only replace costly fossil fuel plants with less expensive renewable energy and save people money on their utility bills, but also work to ensure that the Colorado communities most impacted by coal closures will be made whole under leadership of Colorado’s first-in-the-nation Office of Just Transition. These efforts provide a framework for how other states and countries can end dependence on coal generation while both protecting workers and communities, and improving air quality and public health. ” 

Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis

“Today’s serious energy security and affordability issues go hand-in-hand with the climate crisis, as they highlight the critical need for a new, sustainable energy system. It’s crucial that finance provides the capital required to ensure we transition effectively and do not respond to the current security crisis by a retreat to carbon-intensive coal. 

Becoming a member of the PPCA and committing to its Finance Principles is an important step financial institutions can take to drive forward this lower carbon energy system. We’re happy to join governments and like-minded investors in supporting a just and permanent transition to a net zero future.” 

Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment, Stephanie Maier

“Today’s event is another example of the breadth and commitment of making a clean energy future and delivering the transition to net zero. Chungnam Province in particular is a crucial member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance and an example of the key role subnational governments can play, both in driving the shift away from coal to clean energy within their jurisdictions and sending a strong signal to their national counterparts to do the same.” 

President for COP26, Alok Sharma

“If we do not take action right now, our future generations will face unbearable consequences. I hope that the International Conference on Coal Phase Out and Net Zero will serve as an opportunity to draw up detailed carbon-neutral action plans in this golden age for responding to the climate crisis and radically changing policy direction.” 

8th UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon 

“Chungnam has long been a leader of coal phase out and just transition discussions in South Korea. The regional government took the initiative to establish its own transition fund even before the national government, setting the standard for what the country must do. An accelerated phase-out of coal power is critical for saving our climate and our lives. Coal power not only endangers our climate but pollutes our air, contaminates our water, and endangers our health. A just transition away from coal is an issue for workers, the regional economy, and local communities with the exit presenting new opportunities to create new engines for job creation and industry leadership. I applaud Chungnam for its effort in the region so far and look forward to its green leadership in the future, to more widely advocate for a transition from coal to clean energy.” 

Managing Director of Solutions For Our Climate, Joojin Kim

The world will be on the lookout for progress made since commitments to phase-down coal were made at COP26 in the Glasgow Pact. With participation from key subnational governments across the Asia Pacific region – including Japan, China, Australia and South Korea, as well as from the US, this event highlights how these jurisdictions play a critical role in advancing policy dialogue on energy transition at national and regional levels. 

Despite relatively high coal-dependency in the Asia Pacific region, PPCA and Chungcheongnam’s collaboration during the two-day conference showcases regions and private sector organisations that are taking serious action, even during the global energy crisis to help secure a just and beneficial transition away from coal and towards clean energy – essential not just for the climate, but also for people, economies, prices and energy security.  

For more information, please contact Fiona Lavroff, Communications Officer, Powering Past Coal Secretariat, fiona.lavroff@poweringpastcoal.org, 00 32 499 711 955 

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