COP26: Coal Breakthrough in Glasgow to impact the Indo-Pacific

Key Points:

  • Overnight was a big ‘anti-coal’ day at Glasgow COP26. The UK has launched a new ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’, signed by 75 countries and non-state actors, including 44 countries. 21 countries are committing for the first time to phase out and not build or invest in new coal power, including major emerging markets, including Indonesia, Poland, Vietnam, Egypt and Ukraine, marking a milestone moment at COP26 in the global clean energy transition.
  • A new International Just Transition Declaration, signed by 14 countries, ensuring that the move away from coal high carbon industries results in a sustainable, green and fair future, and one that creates high quality new jobs and champions local social dialogue in developing and emerging economies.
  • A Statement on International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition setting a new standard for Paris-aligned international public finance – ending overseas investment in fossil fuel financing (coal, oil and gas) and redirecting it to clean energy – with over 20 signatories from developing countries, developed countries and international public finance institutions.

“The UK Presidency of the COP is tackling head-on the largest single source of emissions, coal. This is an unprecedented and welcome step, given the Paris Agreement failed to even mention the world coal,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.

“In all my years coming to these UN Climate Conferences the one thing I’ve never seen is fossil fuels being taken head-on. Today we have seen countries tackling coal and saying we need to consign coal to history by launching initiatives that stop new coal power stations, stop financing them and actually bring out plans to phase coal out in 2030 and 2040.

“The UK is fulfilling its promise to help consign coal power to history. It has partnered with countries which are major coal users and producers, including in the Asia-Pacific to stop new coal power stations and phase in clean energy. Australia is not only on the outer, it is being left on behind. The world is determined to move on from coal.

“The constellation of initiatives against coal power here at COP26 are impressive and beyond anything we have witnessed before. There is a clear drive to ensure coal is on the way out. With over 70 new coal mine proposals in Australia, the Australian Government is trying to push Australia backwards while the world moves forward.

“It is worth remembering that six years ago the Paris Agreement does not even mention fossil fuels or coal and yet here we are at COP26 in 2021 actually fast-tracking plans to phase out of coal.

“Indonesia, the world’s largest thermal coal exporter has signed up to the Global Coal to Clean Power transition to phase out coal and Vietnam, an Australian coal client, is pulling the handbrake on new initiatives. This is just the start.”

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