Coal power is the largest global source of greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. Powering past coal is one of the single most important climate steps the world can take. In a year upended by a global energy crisis, Canada is partnering with governments, institutions, and philanthropies to drive the transition to safe, secure, and affordable clean energy.
Today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Canadas Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced significant progress being led by the Powering Past Coal Alliance, as well as exciting new climate finance initiatives which are accelerating coals phase-out around the world.
Along with the United Kingdoms Right Honourable Graham Stuart, Minister Guilbeault announced the release of Powering Past Coal, the first global review of the state of coal phase-out. The Reports release marked five years of progress by the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a global alliance of governments and industry co-led by Canada and the United Kingdom. They announced that the Powering Past Coal Alliance has now reached over 165 members strong and helped ensure that over 75 percent of coal power in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries is retired or scheduled to close by 2030.
The Report reveals that the end of unabated coal power is undeniably underway and is making progress, despite current energy supply challenges and geopolitical instability. The Report highlights solutions that countries are taking to phase-out coal-fired electricity. Canada is cited as a leading example, with the last coal-power plant in Alberta scheduled to close next yearseven years ahead of schedule. The report was launched alongside new analysis by the International Energy Agency that shows coal power has effectively plateaued over the last decade and is set to dramatically decline as governments enact net-zero commitments.
Minister Guilbeault also announced new strategic partnerships between the Powering Past Coal Alliance and the global health community, including the Global Climate and Health Alliance and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, as well as the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnershipa multilateral platform supporting clean energy transition in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Over 30 financial institutions representing more than $17 trillion in assets have joined the Alliance, committing to robust policies to curb coal power finance that are consistent with the United Nations Race to Zero Campaignthe worlds largest coalition of organizations aligned with net-zero goals.
On top of the progress of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, Minister Guilbeault announced two new initiatives helping developing countries transition to clean energy, funded under Canadas $5.3 billion climate finance commitment:
$5 million for the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership to support coal phase-out in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership is a unique partnership of philanthropies and governments that provide expertise to support ambitious energy transition pathways in the Southeast Asia region.
$5 million to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to support its Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation program. Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation helps emerging economies attract private sector investment in clean energy. Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation is currently operating in Indonesia, Vietnam, Columbia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, and Egypt.
These targeted contributions complement existing Canadian investments that are already having an impact in developing countries. For example, through its Clean Energy and Forests Climate Facility at the World Bank, Canada is supporting the Komati Just Energy Transition Project that will repurpose a recently decommissioned coal-powered station into a renewable generation site in Mpumalanga, South Africa. This project will serve as a model for similar coal power retirement and repurposing projects around the world.
Canada is also partnering with other countries and other donors to establish Just Energy Transition Partnerships in emerging economies. These Partnerships will bring coordinated finance to ambitious energy transition plans developed by the host countries themselves. At this years G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany, leaders agreed to work toward partnerships with India, Indonesia, Senegal, and Vietnam.
Consigning coal to history is one of the best ways to ensure a clean, sustainable future. Since 2017, the shared experiences of Powering Past Coal Alliance members have demonstrated that moving away from coal power is not only possible, but cost-effective and more sustainable. Here in Canada, our legislated net-zero emissions commitment, price on carbon, and upcoming clean electricity regulations put us on track to end unabated coal power by 2030.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Co-
Chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance
Its a great pleasure to welcome new members to the Alliance, which has done so much to drive remarkable progress on coal phase-out over the past five years. A future without emissions from coal power is achievable, but it is vital that more governments and organizations join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, setting ambitious coal phase-out dates, to secure a just and secure clean-energy transition.
The Right Honourable Graham Stuart, United Kingdoms Minister of State for Climate and Co-Chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance