Mar 3

Policy Dialogue: Cost-efficient and sustainable pathways for meeting future power demand

This PPCA Summit session brought together policymakers, multilateral bodies and think tank representatives to share their experience on current trends that are leading to shifts in power sector policy and infrastructure. Discussions touched upon the socio-economic and technical impacts on these shifts and future trends following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Online /


By the end of 2020, 110 countries had committed to becoming climate or carbon neutral by mid-century. Achieving these historic objectives, along with the Sustainable Development Goals, will be key for ensuring that economies remain competitive and societies inclusive and prosperous.

At its core, this transformative agenda will require countries to develop energy systems that are cost-efficient, reliable and sustainable.  Particularly as energy demand is expected to return to similar growth rates as before the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of alternatives to for example coal and how to implement these in terms of policy processes becomes increasingly important. 

At the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, UN Secretary General Guterres called upon countries to no longer build new coal power plants. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated already existing market trends that saw competitive renewables push coal out of the market. The health crisis also heightened attention to the links between air and environmental pollution and the resilience of societies and economies.

Responding to these challenges, a number of countries announced to review and reduce their coal pipelines or move away from planning new coal projects. Observing these developments, the IEA Energy Outlook concluded in October 2020 that peak coal has already been reached and levels of consumption will not return to previous levels.

Session Description

This policy dialogue focuses on how to drive change in the political economy of the energy sector, shifting away from coal towards cost-efficient, reliable and sustainable alternatives for meeting energy and development objectives. Participants are invited to share their experiences on managing these processes that are leading to shifts in power sector planning and policy. Linked to this, the discussions will also touch on technical and socio-economic aspects that featured in these political processes.

Agenda & Speakers