Powering Past Coal Alliance

Official title: Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA)

Subject category:
Climate Change
Type of agreement / instrument:
Multilateral
Form:
Voluntary international framework
Status:
Canada co-launched the PPCA with the United Kingdom in November 2017, and is currently the co-chair.
Lead & partner departments:
Lead:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Partners:
Natural Resources Canada; UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; PPCA Secretariat (hosted by E3G and the Pembina Institute)
For further information:
Web links:
Contacts:
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
February 2022
Reference #:
D9/EN

Plain language summary

Canada co-leads the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) alongside the UK, with the goal of accelerating the transition from coal to clean energy. Coal-fired electricity accounts for 35 percent of the world’s power, but is one of the most greenhouse gas-intensive energy sources in the world, producing approximately 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Phasing out unabated coal power is the single most important step governments and organizations can take to tackle climate change—without which Canada and other nations will not meet Paris Agreement climate goals. Global momentum is building, with 165 governments and organizations (as of January 2022) having joined the PPCA, committing to achieve this phase-out in a sustainable and economically inclusive way.

Objective

To co-lead a global alliance of national and sub-national governments, businesses and organisations, and to advance the transition away from unabated coal power.

Key elements

PPCA members are united in taking action to accelerate the transition from coal to clean energy through the rapid phase-out of unabated coal power. More specifically:

  • Government members commit to phasing out existing unabated coal power generation and to a moratorium on any new coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage, within their jurisdictions;
  • Business and other non-government members commit to powering their operations without coal; and
  • All members commit to supporting clean power generation through their policies (whether public or corporate, as appropriate) and investments, and to restricting financing for unabated coal power generation. Members also commit to achieving the phase-out in a sustainable and economically inclusive way, while providing appropriate support for workers and communities.

Expected results

PPCA members recognise that phasing out unabated coal power generation is essential for clean air, healthy communities, sustainable economic growth, and a safe climate. Expected results of the PPCA include:

  • Encouraging more governments and organisations to support the phase-out of unabated coal power in a timeframe compatible with the Paris Agreement temperature goal;
  • Sharing best practices and showcasing successful efforts in transitioning away from coal power; and
  • Promoting the importance of a Just Transition while moving to cleaner sources of energy.

Canada’s involvement

Canada and the United Kingdom co-founded and launched the PPCA at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2017. The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, is a co-chair of the PPCA, and Canada continues to provide strategic direction and leadership to the PPCA’s efforts.

Results / progress

Activities

Knowledge sharing: since its launch, Canada has supported the PPCA in hosting over 25 high-profile events at international climate and energy meetings – including COP23-26, the UN Climate Action Summit, the Clean Energy Ministerial, London Climate Action Week, and the PPCA first-ever Global Summit – to share PPCA members’ experiences and lessons learned, and to engage in discussions with governments and organizations that may be in the early stages of their transition away from coal. The PPCA also facilitates direct exchanges between members; for example, Canada shared its expertise in developing regulations to phase out coal with Finland.

Coal diplomacy: Canada is working with PPCA members to engage with countries that currently use coal-fired electricity, or are considering adding it to their energy mix, to convey the urgent need to phase out unabated coal power. By sharing its expertise and leadership, Canada is seeking to accelerate the global transition away from coal.

Taskforces: to increase its ability to share expertise and provide assistance to those governments and organizations working to phase out unabated coal power, the PPCA has launched three thematic Taskforces on Utilities, Just Transition, and Finance. These Taskforces convene PPCA members and other expert stakeholders to develop best practices and recommendations on their respective topics.

Partnerships: Canada and the PPCA have established partnerships with 15 influential organizations from civil society (Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carbon Tracker, E3G, the Pembina Institute, and the Rocky Mountain Institute) and the financial sector (such as BloombergNEF, Ceres, Climate Investment Funds, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development). Through these partnerships, the PPCA is working to increase the networks and resources available to support its members.

Results

Since its launch at COP23, the PPCA has grown from 27 to 165 members (as of January 2022), including 48 national governments, 48 sub-national governments, and 69 businesses and organisations who are committed to supporting unabated coal power phase-out. The PPCA played a key role in moving coal phase-out to the top of the political agenda at COP26, and PPCA member countries now represent 65% of the OECD and the EU.  The 33 financial institution members represent over US$17 trillion in assets.

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