Coal deal at COP26 marks 'global milestone'

By Dominic Ellis
As COP26 secures deal for phasing out coal, accelerating clean energy is a key focus for the Energy Transition Council

The end of coal is in sight after the UK secured a 190-strong coalition of countries and organisations at COP26, with countries such as Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, Chile and Morocco announcing commitments to phase out coal power.

Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "Today marks a milestone moment in our global efforts to tackle climate change as nations from all corners of the world unite in Glasgow to declare that coal has no part to play in our future power generation."

There has been a 76% cut in the number of new coal plants planned globally over the last six years which means the cancellation of 1000GW of new coal plants since the Paris Agreement. But concerns persist over the continued outlook for coal in some key markets, notably China.

The Energy Transition Council (ETC) today unveiled its strategic priorities for 2022, coinciding with Energy Day at COP 26

In the ETC, the political, financial and technical leaders of the global power sector are working together to ensure that clean power is the most attractive option for new power generation for all countries, and to support countries in making an equitable transition away from coal, the single largest contributor to climate change, and in order to 'keep 1.5 degrees celsius alive'.

At the same time, it is growing the Powering Past Coal Alliance – the coalition of countries, cities, banks and utilities committed to phasing out unabated coal power, and to ending the international financing of new coal plants - with 28 new members signed up today.  

Its three key priorities for next year are:

1. Continued focus on making clean and sustainable power the most affordable and reliable option for developing countries so they can accelerate their clean energy transition - moving away from coal and other fossil fuels, while ensuring a just transition and improved energy access for all.

2. Deploying and scaling up elements of rapid, flexible technical assistance through the Rapid Response Facility (RRF).

3. Deepening engagement and coordination with other key initiatives that are aligned and like-minded with the ETC overall effort

COP26 President Alok Sharma, said: "The world faces the prospect of catastrophic climate change and we have no time to lose if we are to avert it. Through the COP26 Energy Transition Council, governments and international leaders can share expertise and support one another to achieve a faster transition to clean, affordable and resilient power systems as part of a green economic recovery from the global pandemic.”  

COP26 news and industry updates

Alfa Laval announced its participation in the Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council. Formed by technology companies, users and investors to achieve grid net-zero by 2040, the council supports governments, grid operators and major electricity users in adopting cost-effective energy storage solutions to replace fossil fuels. 

Blockchain for Climate Foundation has launched the BITMO Platform, an innovative tool to help countries achieve their climate goals. The BITMO Platform allows signatories to the Paris Agreement to issue and exchange carbon credits as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Leading battery supplier LG Energy Solution has joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) to boost its ESG involvement, becoming the first Korean battery maker to join the industry coalition.

The AES Corporation has signed a 15-year agreement with Microsoft to support the company in achieving its 100/100/0 by 2030 goal. Microsoft, one of the world's largest purchasers of renewable energy, will use the around-the-clock renewable energy provided through this agreement to power its data centers in Virginia.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation has signed a 20-year LNG contract with US producer and exporter Venture Global LNG, which will see it buying 4 million tons of LNG a year.

Duke Energy is launching a new Sustainable Financing Framework that aims to attract billions of dollars of investments in eligible green and social projects to drive the company's clean energy transition.

Volkswagen has become a new shareholder of EIT InnoEnergy. Under a new strategic partnership, joint innovation and investment activities will be designed to contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector and accelerate the shift to electromobility.

The Vision 2045 Summit Worldwide, a three-day event starting November 8, will be a forum for leading corporations to exchange ideas and mobilise innovative approaches to address the climate. Siemens Energy is among the participants.


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