20 companies join international alliance pledging to phase out coal
20 new companies have joined the pledge of 26 nations to phase out coal in a bid to combat global warming.
The new companies who have joined the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” include Unilever, EDF, and Iberdrola.
During a climate summit held by Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, the alliance agreed that coal power should be phased out of rich nations by 2030, with a target of 2050 for remaining countries.
The alliance was launched in November by 19 governments, and already featured companies such as BT, ENGIE, Kering, Diageo, Marks & Spencer, Orsted, Storebrand and Virgin Group.
New nations have also joined the initiative, including Norway, Ethiopia, and Latvia – as well as the state of California, US.
The goals set to completely phase out the use of coal, for both consumption and energy generation, were inline with the 195-nation Paris Climate Agreement.
The pledge argues that coal could be used, however, if for instance greenhouse gas emissions were captured and buried.
Almost 40% of global electricity is provided by coal-fired generators, and big coal users such as China, the US, India, and Russia, have not joined the agreement.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.