Governments launch No New Coal Power Compact to end new coal power
A group of governments including Sri Lanka, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Montenegro, and the UK, have announced a "No New Coal Power Compact", aiming to encourage all other countries to commit to halting the construction of new coal-fired power plants by the UN Climate Summit COP26 to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius goal within reach.
For the first time, a diverse group of developed and developing countries has come together to give impetus to global efforts to end new coal-fired power generation. Their new initiative requires signatories to immediately cease permitting and end new construction of unabated coal-fired power generation projects by the end of the year.
These countries are calling upon all other governments to take these steps and join the Compact ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, to help deliver on the summit’s ambitious goal to “consign coal power to history”.
The No New Coal Compact responds to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for countries to end construction of new coal-fired power this year, as the first step to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius goal within reach and avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change, as well as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) to provide affordable and clean energy.
Lead by example
The announcement, which was made on September 24, 2021, at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy in the form of an Energy Compact signals the commitment of the signatories to take decisive action to end new coal construction and lead other countries by example – recognizing its adverse impacts on climate change and air pollution.
Energy Compacts are living documents and other countries are encouraged to join. The group aims to gather the largest number of new signatories as soon as possible.
The UN High-level Dialogue on Energy is a Secretary-General-led Summit discussing energy for the first time in forty years. It recognizes the critical role of energy in advancing climate goals, as well as development priorities including coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic recovery processes.
The countries launching the Compact can advocate for other countries to commit to “no new coal power”, speaking from the strong foundation of their own experience. Sri Lanka and Chile have recently shown leadership in canceling new coal projects and making political statements that they will no longer pursue new coal power.
Denmark, France, Germany, Montenegro, and the UK have already canceled their last coal projects and are now focused on accelerating the retirement of their remaining coal power generation.
The signing countries recognize that countries, workers, and communities in the developing world require support in moving away from coal power generation in a sustainable and economically inclusive way.
Among the needed forms of support, UN-Energy, the Energy Transition Council and Powering Past Coal Alliance are there to assist countries that are willing to begin this process.
Consigning coal to history is crucial to avoiding catastrophic climate change. I am delighted that the UK is partnering with a diverse group of countries that are showing bold leadership to cancel coal through the No New Coal Power Compact, demonstrating the positive impact that countries working closely together can have in generating climate action. The cost of clean renewable technologies continues to fall, making coal expensive and uncompetitive. I call on more countries to come forward and sign up to this compact ahead of COP26 and play their part to limit global warming and keep 1.5 degrees alive, said Alok Sharma, COP26 President-Designate.