New PPCA members tip the scales towards ‘consigning coal to history’ at COP26

28 new members of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) have been announced at the UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, today, raising the total PPCA membership to 165 countries, cities, regions and businesses taking decisive action to deliver on their domestic phase-out commitments and cooperate to accelerate the global transition from coal to clean energy.

New PPCA members tip the scales towards ‘consigning coal to history’ at COP26
New PPCA members tip the scales towards ‘consigning coal to history’ at COP26
  • Ukraine, Chile, Singapore, Mauritius, Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Estonia head list of 28 new PPCA members.
  • Nearly two-thirds of OECD & EU governments are now PPCA members and on the way to phasing out coal by 2030.
  • 11 financial institutions join the Alliance today, bringing the total to 33 finance members with over USD$17 trillion in assets.
  • PPCA engagement with coal-dependent countries is further strengthened through additional subnational government and utility members from Poland, South Africa, the Philippines and the US, as well as a new partnership with the Climate Investment Funds.

Ukraine has committed today to end coal power by 2035, while massively investing in renewables and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities. It is a major step for a country that has the third largest coal fleet in Europe after Germany and Poland. DTEK, the biggest private investor in Ukraine's energy sector is also joining the Alliance today, committing to powering operations without coal by 2040. Chile enters the Alliance, pledging to take significant steps to bring forward its current 2040 phase-out deadline. Mauritius aims to phase out the use of coal by 2030. Azerbaijan is already coal-free.

Singapore is the first country in Asia to join the PPCA and, as a leading financial centre, it has committed to catalysing green finance for the continent’s transition towards greater sustainability. Slovenia, who has committed to set a coal phase out date in the near future and Estonia, already coal-free, will strengthen the Alliance’s presence in the EU, increasing its membership to 21 EU Member States. Croatia, which joined the Alliance in June, has announced a 2033 coal phase out deadline at COP26, showing that coal phase-out commitments in Europe are converging towards 2030.

In the lead up to COP26, the Alliance has welcomed a record number of 51 members during 2021, thanks to the momentum for coal phase out driven by the UK COP Presidency. 65% of OECD and EU countries are now members of the PPCA and on their way to phasing out coal by 2030. According to the IEA, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, all countries and businesses need to immediately stop new construction of coal-fired power plants and phase out existing plants completely by 2030 in the OECD, and by 2040 in the rest of the world.

A large group of financial institutions have also joined the Alliance today, mirroring a raft of commitments which brought an end of international public coal finance this year: NatWest, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Fidelity International, Impax Asset Management, Generation Investment Management (UK), Ethos Foundation (Switzerland), SCOR Global Investments (France), Vancity (Canada) and United Church of Canada. Export Development Canada is the first export credit agency to enter the Alliance and played a key role in ending OECD export credit support for unabated coal-fired power plants. Together, the now 33 finance members of the Alliance account for over US$17 trillion in assets.

Several subnational government and utilities from coal-dependent countries have also become members today. This includes the Polish cities of Wałbrzych, a former mining centre with a 2030 coal phase-out commitment, and Koszalin, one of the greenest cities in Poland; Durban (Ethekwini municipality), South Africa's third largest city and home to one of the largest coal export terminals in the world; Guimaras and Negros Occidental Provinces and Ormoc City in the Philippines, all strong proponents of renewable energy in place of new coal power plants; and Indika Energy, an Indonesian major energy company planning to close its last power plant in 2047. The PPCA has also announced a strategic partnership with the Climate Investment Funds, aimed to accelerate coal retirement in developing countries. 

The energy transition is also accelerating across North America, with new members joining the PPCA today: Canadian utility TransAlta and the US State of New Mexico are on a path to eliminate coal-fired generation by 2025 and 2031, respectively.

Greg Hands, UK Clean Growth, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said: 

“The Alliance is a fantastic example of how bringing together nations, regions and financial institutions can drive change so we can consign coal to history and deliver the historic Paris Agreement. The increase in global commitments to phase out coal is a huge victory to celebrate at COP26 in Glasgow. Welcoming new members today such as Chile and Singapore will bring us another step closer to securing a greener future that is powered by clean, renewable energy.”

Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada, said: 

“The global push to phase out coal-fired electricity 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 more parts of the world avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. As the Powering Past Coal Alliance marks its 4th anniversary, a growing number of countries, financial institutions, companies and sub-national governments are joining the effort to accelerate urgent climate action. It is heartening to see this growing, global collaboration to create a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.”

German Galuschenko, Minister of Energy of Ukraine, said:

"Ukraine is moving towards the decarbonisation of the energy sector, in particular, complete decommissioning of coal-fired thermal power plants, as well as a significant increase in renewable generation. This objective, however, requires developing highly-flexible and low-carbon generation, as well as integration of energy markets of Ukraine and the EU. In this context, we are working with our international partners to attract investment, technology and expertise."

Juan Carlos Jobet Eluchans, Minister of Energy of Chile, said:

“Chile looks forward to working with the Alliance to support a strong and credible social dialogue on the pathway to net zero, drawing on the experience of PPCA members and sharing our own example, so as to ensure that coal phase out occurs in a just, responsible and equitable manner.”

Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Republic of Singapore, said:

“The burning of coal is putting billions of people at immediate risk. This is why Singapore has decided to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, one of the first countries in Asia to do so. Singapore is fully committed to accelerating the transition to a low-carbon future. We will transform our industry, economy, and society to be more energy and carbon efficient, and to adopt more low-carbon energy in support of the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Jernej Vrtovec, Minister of Infrastructure of Slovenia, said:

"In 2021, it is high time to act. We have to invest our best efforts to phase-out coal in the most ambitious manner. Our task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it!"

Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change of Mauritius, said:

"I am pleased to announce that Mauritius is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.  I wish to also inform that Mauritius is also supporting the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, the Statement on Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition as well as the Global Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid.”

Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Governor, said:

“Powering the world past coal has to be a priority for every nation, state, province and city in the world, and partnerships like these are how we get there. As New Mexico continues its just and equitable energy transition, we look forward to sharing with and hearing more about lessons learned from other Power Past Coal Alliance members.”

Roman Szełemej, Mayor of Walbrzych, Poland, said:

"For more than 500 years, Walbrzych had been known as a coal mining centre. Now we join the PPCA to move from coal to clean energy. In 2019, we committed to eliminating coal as a source of heat and electricity in 2030. It will require good planning, determination and funds, but we are convinced that we can reach this goal."

Samuel Gumarin, M.D., Governor, Guimaras Province, the Philippines, said:

“We are deeply honored to be given the opportunity to become an active member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. This will open doors for the island-province of Guimaras to contribute to the momentum in our local and global efforts to transition from coal to clean energy thereby limiting the rise of global temperature.”

Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, said:

“At HSBC, we recognise the imperative to phase out unabated coal use. Our 2021 Annual General Meeting passed a special resolution on climate change which was backed by 99% of shareholders. It includes a commitment to phase out the financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2030 in markets in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and by 2040 in all other markets. We also recognise the imperative to ensure that this transition is socially just, and to support those communities most impacted. As a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance, HSBC is committed to industry efforts to develop the financing solutions that will mobilise the transition, and to backing the leadership of governments such as the UK and Canada in powering past coal.”

Alison Rose, Chief Executive Officer of NatWest Group, said:

“We are delighted to be one of the first banks in the world to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which demonstrates our determination to help end the most harmful activities and to support the transition to the zero-carbon economy. The transition from coal to clean energy is an urgent part of the journey to net zero and, as the leading lender to the renewables sector in the UK, we are supporting our customers with access to the finance, expertise and products they need to decarbonise.

“Banks have a huge role to play in financing the transition of the economy and we continue to challenge ourselves to do all we can to play a leading role in this global issue at both a practical level to help our customers but also at a global level to mobilise the financial services sector.”

Janet Pope, Chief of Staff and Group Director, Sustainable Business, Lloyds Bank, said:

"Lloyds Banking Group is pleased to have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance. We have already actively reduced our financing of thermal coal, supported by clear policy and government action in the UK. We are committed to working with our clients, the government and the market to help finance the transition towards renewable energy."

David Blood, Senior Partner, Generation Investment Management, said:

“Asset managers have a critical role to play to help achieve the just transition to net zero by 2050 at the latest. The world will not be able to keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5C unless the PPCA’s deadlines for coal power phase-out are achieved. Generation is pleased to back the PPCA Finance Principles, which should be universally adopted across the investment management industry.”

Jenn-Hui Tan, Global Head of Stewardship & Sustainable Investing at Fidelity International, said:

“Climate change is the critical issue of our time and it is clear that coal power is incompatible with a net zero future. That’s why we are proud to join the PPCA and work with our partners and investee companies to advance the just transition towards clean energy.”

Christine Bergeron, President and CEO of Vancity Credit Union, said:

"Though Vancity has never provided financing for coal or other fossil fuels, we are very happy to join a global effort that not only seeks to phase out coal power, but has committed to doing so in a sustainable and economically inclusive way, including appropriate support for workers and communities. The financial sector holds critical keys to reducing emissions across the economy and we hope that the PPCA helps deepen the role that financial institutions play in building a clean economy that works for everyone and safeguards our planet."

Mairead Lavery, EDC’s President and CEO, said:

“EDC is committed to playing an ambitious role in the transition to a low-carbon and clean energy-fueled economy, and we know this will require a global commitment to phasing out unabated coal power generation. We are proud of our longstanding efforts to phase out support for coal and to be the first export credit agency in the world to join the PPCA. We stand ready to work with like-minded organizations to build additional momentum toward a more sustainable future.”

John Kousinioris, CEO of TransAlta, said:

“TransAlta Corporation’s decision to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance is a natural extension of our company’s commitment to delivering clean energy solutions for our customers, strong returns for our investors, and reliable energy for the communities we serve. Our company will end our remaining coal generation in Canada in 2021 and the U.S. in 2025. Our growth plan will expand our renewable electricity fleet by two gigawatts over the next five years and deploy energy storage at a much larger scale. We look forward to continuing our contribution to global efforts to deliver an accelerated clean energy transition”.

Mafalda Duarte, CEO of the Climate Investment Funds, said:

“The Climate Investment Funds is proud to partner with PPCA to advance an inclusive transition from coal to clean energy in developing countries. We look forward to learning and sharing lessons from our coal transition investments and working within and across coalitions like PPCA to help deliver the jobs and economies of the future.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, said:

“The sooner that governments and organizations take action to end coal-fired power, the sooner they can help create jobs, improve global health, and win the fight against climate change. By joining the fast-growing Powering Past Coal Alliance at this critical moment, partners at every level are turning the tide against coal and building a greener, healthier future around the world.”

Naser Nuredini, Minister of Environment and Physical Planning of North Macedonia, said:
“North Macedonia is very ambitious with its enhanced NDC, committing to a 51% reduction of GHG emissions in 2030 compared to 1990 levels, that equals to an 82% net reduction. As a country whose electricity production is heavily relying on coal, by moving away from it, our key challenge is just transition. We believe this Alliance can help the countries cooperate and contribute towards achieving a smoother and faster transition to cleaner energy sources, which we urgently need to be able to reach the global climate targets.”

Jaime de Bourbon de Parma, Climate Envoy of the Netherlands, said:

“The Netherlands is a proud and active member of the PPCA. It is vital to stop both public and private financing for coal. We welcome the announcements by various partners to stop coal financing, including one of the world’s five largest pension funds, ABP. We must simultaneously divest from coal and invest in clean energy, including in developing countries.”

Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola, said: 

“Urgent action is required in this decade to deliver net zero. At Iberdrola, we closed all our coal plants years ago while investing heavily in renewable energy, smart networks and energy storage. We are committed to continuing to accelerate decarbonisation to create value for the whole of society”.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Anna Drazkiewicz, Communications Manager, Powering Past Coal Alliance Secretariat, anna.drazkiewicz@poweringpastcoal.org, 00 32 487 324 562

Notes:

The announcement will take place at the COP Presidency event 'Powering the World Past Coal on Thursday, 4 November 2021, 11:30 – 13:00 ET, 15:30 – 17:00 GMT, 16:30 – 18:00 CET in Glasgow, UK, COP26 Venue Blue Zone, Plenary Room Cairn Gorm (first come, first served basis) – and online via the UNFCCC’s website: https://unfccc-cop26.streamworld.de/live.

More information about the event here.