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COP26: Energy Day

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Statements on unabated coal, a new UK biomass policy and commitments to product energy efficiency, green hydrogen and promoting a shift from oil and gas featured at Day 5.

Statement on transitioning away from unabated coal

Over 50 countries and sub-nationals have supported the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement. The Statement commits the countries to the following actions:

  • Rapidly scaling up deployment of clean power and energy efficiencies.
  • Aiming for a transition away from unabated coal power “in the 2030s (or as soon as possible thereafter)” for major economies “in the 2040s (or as soon as possible thereafter)” for rest of the world.
  • Ceasing issuance of new permits for, construction of and direct government support for unabated coal-fired power plants.
  • Strengthening domestic and international frameworks for a just transition (i.e. one that takes into account the social impact of the net zero transition).

China, Japan and South Korea have separately announced they are ending overseas coal financing. 28 new members have also signed up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a public-private alliance described as the world’s largest on phasing out of coal. 20 new countries have also committed to building no new coal plants.

Other financing commitment to a just transition from coal

Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is a multilateral climate finance mechanism implemented by the African Development Bank (ADB). India, Indonesia, South Africa and the Philippines announced partnerships with CIF to accelerate their transition from coal. Other commitments to financing such transitions include a commitment of USD8.5bn from the UK, France, Germany, the US and the EU to South Africa, and partnerships between the ADB and each of Indonesia and the Philippines to support early retirement of coal-fired plants.

Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA)

A new international public-private collation is expected to be launched next week to facilitate a managed phase-out of oil and gas production. BOGA will be co-chaired by Denmark and Costa Rica, and is supported by stakeholders such as the Laudes Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

BOGA aims to:

  • Align oil and gas production with the Paris Goals.
  • Promote international dialogue on the managed and just phase-out of oil and gas production
  • Provide a “home” for commitments on oil and gas phase-out.
  • Build best practice to support governments in the transition.

Green hydrogen alliances

The Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance and LatAm Green Hydrogen Alliance launched, comprising 5 countries from each region as well as private support. The new alliance will collaborate on public and regulatory policy, financing and certification to mobilise green hydrogen production for domestic and international use.

The UN Green Hydrogen Catapult was launched at the original scheduled time for COP26. It is an alliance of the world’s biggest green hydrogen project developers and partners which aims to accelerate the scale and production of green hydrogen up to 2026 with the aim of bring the cost of green hydrogen past USD$2 per kilogram (what is they consider a tipping point in the green hydrogen market). The Catapult announced new membership at Energy Day, as well as noting that the policy interventions to build the green hydrogen are not yet in place.

Energy efficiency commitment

12 countries have committed to doubling product energy efficiency by 2030. The commitment focuses on air-conditioners, refrigerators, motors and lighting. The commitment has been endorsed by 20 civil society stakeholder grounds and is supported by another of other organisations and initiatives, including the International Energy Agency and the UNEP.

UK Biomass policy statement

The UK government has published its Biomass Policy Statement, which sets out medium to long term view of the role of biomass in the UK economy net zero transition. The policy states that biomass use should be based on following key principles:

  • compliance with sustainability criteria and waste hierarchy principles.
  • contribution to carbon budgets and net zero considering feedstock availability, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and cost-benefits.
  • biomass to be used with carbon capture utilisation or storage where feasible, otherwise used only in hard-to-decarbonise sectors with limited or no low carbon alternatives.


Author: Kelly Sporn