Nearly 20 countries have agreed to phase out coal from power generation before 2030, launching the Powering Past Coal Alliance at the United Nations’ climate talks in Bonn, several news outlets reported.
The coalition includes the United Kingdom, Canada, Angola, Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Fiji, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland, as well as several Canadian provinces and the U.S. state of Washington. Leaders of the alliance said they aim to have 50 nations signed on to the pledge by the next UN climate meeting in Poland in 2018.
Notably missing from the alliance, however, are some of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, including the U.S., China, India, Germany, and Russia.
Coal-fired power plants produce nearly 40 percent of global electricity today. The non-legally binding pledge, led by the UK and Canada, requires that countries commit to phasing out existing coal power plants, pass a moratorium on approving any new coal plants without carbon capture and storage systems, and curtail financing to coal projects.
“Countries moving to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies are already seeing environmental, economic, and human health benefits,” the alliance states. “Our coalition wants to help accelerate that transition.”