PPCA commends launch of pledge to end new coal

A diverse group of governments including Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) members Denmark, France, Germany, Montenegro and the United Kingdom have launched a No New Coal Power Compact today, aiming to encourage all other countries to commit to stopping new construction of coal-fired power plants by the UN Climate Summit COP26. The Compact signatories underline that countries willing to begin a process toward a more ambitious phase out of coal-fired power generation can count on the PPCA for support.

Signatories of the No New Coal Power Compact commit to immediately cease permitting and end new construction of unabated coal-fired power generation projects by the end of the year. The countries launching the Compact today are calling upon all other governments to take these steps and join the initiative ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26 to help deliver on the summit’s ambitious goal to “consign coal power to history”.

The initiative is very timely. First, the construction of new unabated coal-fired power must stop this year to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius goal within reach. Both the UN Secretary-General and the IEA have left no doubt that the immediate end of new coal is necessary to stay within safe limits of climate change. Secondly, new analysis shows that thanks to the recent collapse of the global coal pipeline, many governments could readily commit to “no new coal” at the COP, and today’s announcement is aimed to provide a strong impulse for action.

The initiative is also unique, as it has been launched jointly by developed and developing countries with diverse energy systems, as well as strong credentials to lead the world towards ending new coal power. This includes Sri Lanka, who, after having considered new coal-fired power projects, formally committed to no new coal in its updated NDC published in June 2021; and Chile, where the government and its electricity sector agreed to no longer pursue new coal without CCS, and to phase out the existing coal fleet by 2040.

The Compact recognizes that countries, workers, and communities in the developing world require support in moving away from coal power generation in a sustainable and economically inclusive way. Among the needed forms of support, the Energy Transition Council and Powering Past Coal Alliance are highlighted as platforms of international cooperation aimed to assist countries that are willing to begin this process.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance has been leading calls for an end to emissions from coal power, starting with stopping new coal plant development. Since the launch of the PPCA in 2017, all new members commit to no new unabated coal plants, alongside ending financing of coal power generation and delivering a coal phase out in line with Paris Agreement timeframes.

The PPCA and its members stand ready to help make progress in some of the most fundamental areas in the energy shift, including coal financing, utility and grid transformation, and a just transition for affected workers and communities. They can offer their extensive expertise on how to overcome challenges and boost environmental, economic and human health benefits that come with the transition.