COP26: Leading countries commit to phase-out of coal power

Major international lenders including HSBC, Fidelity International and Ethos made commitments at COP26 to end the funding of unabated coal. 

Key points:

  • At least 23 countries including five of the world’s top 20 coal power-using countries made new commitments to phase out coal power.
  • Major international banks committed to effectively end all international public financing of new unabated coal power by the end of 2021. 
  • At least 25 countries and public finance institutions committed to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022
  • A 190-strong coalition agrees to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants thanks to a package of support from the UK and international partners

According to the official COP website, this could shift an estimated $17.8 billion a year in public support out of fossil fuels and into the clean energy transition.

Countries committing to phase out coal power, included Indonesia, Vietnam, Poland, South Korea, Egypt, Spain, Nepal, Singapore, Chile and Ukraine.  In a new ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’, countries also committed to scaling up clean power and ensuring a ‘just transition’ away from coal.  

In addition, a group of 25 countries including COP26 partners Italy, Canada, the United States and Denmark together with public finance institutions signed a UK-led joint statement committing to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022 and instead prioritising support for the clean energy transition. 

28 new members also signed up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance, the world’s largest alliance on phasing out coal, launched and co-chaired by the UK and Canada. New members include Chile and Singapore, joining more than 160 countries, sub-nationals and businesses. 

And 20 new countries, including Vietnam, Morocco and Poland committed to building no new coal plants, matching similar announcements over the past year by Pakistan, Malaysia and the Philippines, and building on the No New Coal Power Compact launched in September by Sri Lanka, Chile, Montenegro and European partners.

The COP website reports that there has been a 76% drop in the number of new coal plants planned globally over the last six years since the Paris Agreement was adopted. 

COP26 President, Alok Sharma said: “From the start of the UK’s Presidency, we have been clear that COP26 must be the COP that consigns coal to history.  With these ambitious commitments we are seeing today, the end of coal power is now within sight.”

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