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UK & Canada commit to supporting global transition away from coal

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UK and Canada commit to supporting the global transition away from coal. Prime Minister Theresa May formally confirms UK coal phase out by 2025.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has today announced bilateral UK-Canada leadership on coal and confirmed that the UK will phase out coal power generation by 2025.

In a joint press conference with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, PM May stated:

“[W]e have confirmed our joint commitment to supporting the global transition away from a reliance on coal as an energy source. Once again, the UK and Canada will lead the way, and I am pleased to announce that the UK will aim to phase out unabated coal by 2025.”

E3G has today published a briefing paper tracking progress towards coal phase out by G7 and OECD members. It highlights how coal phase out policy commitments have already been made by the UK, Canada, France, Finland, Alberta, Berlin and US states including California and New York.

Other developed economies are also seeing their electricity markets shift away from coal power generation. Political commitments to accelerate this coal transition can help provide a clearer investment framework for continued growth in renewables.

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Chris Littlecott, Programme Leader for Fossil Fuel Transition at E3G said:

“The Prime Minister’s announcement of joint UK-Canada cooperation shows that the transition from dirty coal to clean energy is now a topic of international diplomatic discussion at the highest level.

“The UK and Canada have broken through a psychological barrier by committing to work together to advance the global transition away from coal. Coal is no longer king and governments are no longer scared of saying so.

“Our review of G7 and OECD countries found that the majority are making clear progress on coal, with an increasing number turning this into political commitments. The time is ripe for national and regional governments to cooperate on the transition.

“All OECD countries are now on notice that they need to develop their own coal phase out commitments. The UK and Canada have today opened the door for others to take similar steps towards clean energy.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • E3G is an independent climate change think tank operating to accelerate the global transition to a low carbon economy. E3G specializes in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance.
  • In 2016, E3G was ranked the fifth most influential environmental think tank in the world, third in Europe and first in the UK by the Go to Think Tank Index.
  • The transcript of Prime Minister May’s statement in Ottawa is available on the Number 10 website at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-press-conference-with-canadian-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-18-september
  • Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd stated the UK’s intention to phase out unabated coal in November 2015. A policy consultation then took place between November 2016 and February 2017. The policy details of how the UK coal phase out commitment will be delivered will be released later this autumn.
  • E3G’s briefing paper ‘Accelerating Coal Phase Out – the OECD context’ is available here.

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