COP26: 23 countries make new commitments to phasing out coal and ending support for new coal plants
05 November 2021
A series of new commitments to phasing out coal were made at COP26 on November 4 as part of the conference’s Energy Day. At least 23 nations made new commitments, including 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.
The announcements follow a collapse in the financing of coal, as developed nations have pledged new support to help developing countries make the transition to clean energy, conference organisers said.
Banks and financial institutions also made commitments to end the funding of unabated coal. This follows recent announcements from China, Japan and South Korea to end overseas coal financing which now means all significant public international financing for coal power has effectively ended.
In addition, a group of 25 countries including COP26 partners Italy, Canada, the United States and Denmark together with public finance institutions, have 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. Collectively, this could shift an estimated $17.8 billion a year in public support out of fossil fuels and into the clean energy transition, COP26 organisers said.
Other commitments on Energy Day at COP26 included 28 new members signing up to the world’s largest alliance on phasing out coal, the Powering Past Coal Alliance. New members include Chile and Singapore, joining more than 160 countries, sub-nationals and businesses.
Also, 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.
In separate announcements, major emerging economies took significant steps to move from coal to clean power. India, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa announced partnerships with the Climate Investment Funds to accelerate their transitions away from coal power, backed by a dedicated $2 billion facility. These followed the ground-breaking $8.5 billion deal to support South Africa’s transition to clean energy announced at the World Leaders Summit.
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. Securing a 190-strong coalition to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants and the Just Transition Declaration signed today, show a real international commitment to not leave any nation behind.
“Together we can accelerate access to electricity for more than three quarters of a billion people who currently lack access, consigning energy poverty to history as we create the clean power future needed to keep 1.5 alive.”