On March 2, 2021, UN secretary-general António Guterres stated that all planned coal projects on Earth must be cancelled to end the “deadly addiction” to coal, the most polluting fossil fuel.
He also stated that phasing out coal from the electricity sector would in fact be the single most important measure to mitigate climate change.
This message from the UN secretary-general happened at the opening of a summit of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), which is a group of governments and businesses that have committed to ending the burning of coal for power.
The Powering Past Coal Alliance was founded in 2017 by Canada and the United Kingdom. The UK plans to end coal burning in power plants by 2024. The United Kingdom will be the host to an important UN climate summit, Cop26, in November 2021.
The PPCA aims to terminate coal burning for power by 2030 in developed nations as well as reducing it by 80% globally.
“Today, I am calling on all governments, private companies and local authorities to take three steps,” said Guterres. “First, cancel all global coal projects in the pipeline and end the deadly addiction to coal. Second, end the international financing of coal plants and … third, jump-start a global effort to finally organise a just transition [for coal industry workers], going plant by plant if necessary.”
The United Kingdom energy minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, told the PPCA summit: “Having gone over 5,000 hours without using coal for electricity last year, the UK is powering forward with the transition away from coal for power generation and into the enormous economic potential of clean technologies.”
Canada’s environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson said, “By working together we are creating a healthier future for our children and grandchildren.”
You can read more from the Guardian article.