Climate Change | Other Publication

Accelerating the Phase Out of Coal-Fired Power Generation: International Collaboration and Diplomacy

April 2018


Coal-fired power generation is one of the largest sources of emissions globally. In order to follow the Paris Agreement pathway to limit global warming to 1.5° C, coal-fired power generation must peak by 2020 and reach zero by 2050. The case for coal-fired power is in decline. In many places economic and policy shifts are ushering in transition from coal to clean energy.

But, while coal generation has shown signs of peaking, decreasing by 6.2 percent in 2016, it is not a certainty that this will continue fast enough on its own. In fact, some regions with large planned coal power generation capacity underscore the need for concerted effort to stop and phase out coal on a timeline consistent with the Paris Agreement. Still, transitioning from coal to clean energy offers countries and regions benefits in respect to human health, water security, and environmental and cultural protection, while improving public finance outlooks.

Building on the benefits and necessity of phasing out coal, the Stanley Center collaborated with Wilton Park, E3G, and the European Climate Foundation to host a high level event entitled “Accelerating the Phase out of Coal-Fired Power Generation: International Collaboration and Diplomacy.” The conference report from this event is available from Wilton Park.