The End of Coal is in Sight – COP26 Update

Author & Key Contact: Natalie Jones

Is the end of coal in sight? Thanks to a package of support from the UK and international partners, a 190-strong coalition has agreed to both phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants.

The ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’, launched today and signed by a host of developed and developing countries, including both major coal users and climate vulnerable nations, commits nations across the world to:

  • end all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally;
  • rapidly scale up deployment of clean power generation; and
  • phase out coal power in economies in the 2030s for major economies and 2040s for the rest of the world.

This latest statement, on top of pledges in the last year from China, Japan, South Korea and the G20 to end overseas financing of coal power plants, could remove over 40GW of coal-fired power generation across 20 countries, which equates to around half of the UK’s power capacity.

The UK’s Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said today:

The world is moving in the right direction, standing ready to seal coal’s fate and embrace the environmental and economic benefits of building a future that is powered by clean energy.”

The commitments made today follow:

  • the publication of the UK’s landmark Net Zero Strategy last month, which outlines measures to support businesses and consumers to transition to clean energy, while supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs and leveraging up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030; and
  • the UK’s £576 million commitment to mobilise finance into emerging markets and developing economies to fund their green transition, including £66 million to expand the UK’s MOBILIST programme, which helps to develop new investment products which can be listed on public markets and attract different types of investors.

The UK’s commitments means that new standards, incentives and rules, to create markets for new technologies will be imposed. This could be transformative for the UK energy market and give investors the confidence to know that markets for innovative technologies would be available which could radically lower the price of clean technology and increase its use exponentially.

For news and updates as the 6th UN Climate Change Conference progresses, keep an eye on the COP26 Press Office.

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