Canada and the UK host round-table discussion on climate risks and opportunities, with finance leaders and Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance 

Statement

January 26, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Today, Canada and the United Kingdom hosted a virtual round table with Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, and finance leaders from North America and Europe to discuss the importance of phasing out market support for unabated coal power, from climate-risk and clean-energy-investment perspectives. Following their discussion, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson; the UK’s Minister of State, the Right Honourable Anne-Marie Trevelyan; and Mark Carney issued the following statements:

“Today we were joined by leaders from the North American and European financial sector to discuss how we can collectively ramp up our ambition to address the greatest challenge and economic opportunity of our time: climate change.

“We are pleased that many of the largest players in the financial sector have recognized the need to account for climate risks and invest in industries and companies that have strong, sustainable business models, especially the electricity sector.

“The Powering Past Coal Alliance, co-founded by Canada and the UK, is driving the phase-out of coal-power emissions by working with governments and financial leaders to transition services and investments in coal-fired power and encourage investments in clean forms of energy. We call upon financial institutions to take steps to align their financial flows with Paris-Agreement goals, and to this end, adopt the Alliance’s Finance Principles as an important step.

“With 2020 tied for the hottest year on record, we must all take action to address climate change and help the nations of the world transition to clean electricity and build back better from COVID-19. Phasing out coal is essential for meeting our climate targets and putting the economy on a pathway toward net-zero emissions. For the good of our economies, our health, and our planet, the time to accelerate our efforts is now as we head into the Powering Past Coal Alliance Global Summit and the UN climate change meetings (COP26) later this year.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance

– The Right Honourable Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) and Co-Chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance

“To meet the 1.5°C target, more than 75 percent of coal reserves will need to stay in the ground, while trillions of dollars of investments every year in cost-effective renewable energy—such as solar, wind, and hydropower—will be needed to transform our energy systems. I welcome the work of the Powering Past Coal Alliance to support the financial sector’s efforts to invest for the sustainable future that we all need and that future generations deserve.”

– Mark Carney, Finance Adviser to the UK Prime Minister, for COP26, and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance

Quick facts

  • The Powering Past Coal Alliance was formed by Canada and the UK in 2017 to bring together governments and the private sector to accelerate the phase-out of unabated coal power.
  • Since then, the Alliance has grown to more than 110 members across governments, financial leaders, industry leaders, and non-governmental and non-profit organization partners.
  • The Powering Past Coal Alliance Finance Principles give greater clarity to the role of financial institutions in advancing the objectives of the Alliance, help align financial services and investments with the Paris Agreement, build upon and complement the accounting and transparent reporting of climate risks by member organizations, and complement responses to the guidelines proposed by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure.
  • From March 2 to 4, 2021, Canada and the UK will host the first Powering Past Coal Alliance Global Summit to announce new members and collaborate and build momentum on coal phase-out ahead of COP26.

Associated links

Contacts

Moira Kelly
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-271-6218
moira.kelly@canada.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
ec.media.ec@canada.ca

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