Powering Past Coal Alliance

Official title: Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA)

Subject category:
Climate Change
Type of agreement / instrument:
Voluntary international framework
Canada co-launched the PPCA with the United Kingdom in November 2017, and is currently the co-chair.
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
For further information:
Web links:
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
October 2018
Reference #:


Plain language summary

Unabated coal power is one of the most greenhouse-gas-intensive power sources in the world, and coal-fired power plants still account for almost 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Phasing out unabated coal power is therefore one of the most important steps governments and organizations can take to tackle climate change and meet our Paris Agreement commitment of keeping global temperature from increasing by 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C. This is why Canada co-founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) in fall 2017. The PPCA aims to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of unabated coal power. PPCA members – 75 as of October 2018 – commit to achieving this phase-out in a sustainable and economically inclusive way, while providing appropriate support for workers and communities.


The PPCA is a coalition of national and sub-national governments, businesses and organisations working to advance the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.

Key elements

PPCA members are united in taking action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection 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.

Expected results

PPCA members recognise that shifting away from 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 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 Catherine McKenna, 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


In December 2017, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, Minister McKenna announced a new partnership between Canada and the World Bank to support energy transition in developing countries. This partnership will help these countries move towards low-carbon energy sources to power their fast growing economies. At the Summit, the PPCA also welcomed its first private sector members.

In April 2018, at the Bloomberg Global Future of Energy Summit, Ministers Catherine McKenna and Claire Perry, as co-chairs of the PPCA, signed a letter of collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies to explore best practice approaches to the coal transition. As part of this collaboration, Bloomberg Philanthropies is developing a series of case studies and insights exploring how governments and organisations are working to rapidly phase out coal power in a practical, sustainable, and economically inclusive way.

In September 2018, at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, the PPCA and Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted an event to showcase how sub-national governments are supporting the transition away from coal, and featuring a premier of the first video case study developed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which covers coal phase-out in Washington State. The PPCA also welcomed 10 new members made up of states and cities.


Since its launch at COP23, the PPCA has grown from 27 to 75 members (as of October 2018), including 28 national governments, 19 sub-national governments, and 28 businesses and organisations who are committed to supporting unabated coal power phase-out.

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