Why coal to clean?

Coal power must end to keep global heating below 1.5C

Coal-fired power accounts for 1/5 of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it the biggest emitter

Clean electricity will power future prosperity for all


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Burning coal for power emits more carbon dioxide than any other source.

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Coal is the deadliest source of power due to pollution and accidents.

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Coal has damaging impacts on water, land, air and wildlife.

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Renewables are now cheaper than new coal, and becoming so for existing coal.

Note on methodology: Ember analysed scenarios in the IPCC SR15 IAM database in warming categories “Below 1.5C” and “1.5C low overshoot”. Following the findings of chapter 4 of IPCC SR15, scenarios are excluded if they exceed sustainable limits on the use of bionenergy (100EJ/yr) or BECCS (5GtCO2/yr) in 2050. The graph presents the median share of coal (without CCS) in electricity.

The next ten years are crucial

The world needs to rapidly halve emissions by 2030 to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

The pathways mapped out by UN IPCC to keep global heating below 1.5C show that almost half of emissions cuts needed by 2030 will come from phasing-out coal power.

1.5C matters: It marks a dangerous turning point, beyond which it will be hard to turn back the climate crisis.


Phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to get in line with 1.5C goal

UN-Secretary General António Guterres

A coal miner in Xingtai, China

Coal power must end to keep global heating below 1.5C

By 2030 coal should supply less than 9% of global electricity and near-zero by 2040.

OECD countries must phase-out coal power by 2030, and everywhere else by 2040.

Coal currently provides around a third of global electricity and is the single largest source of power.

The challenge we face is that coal phase-out must happen at the same time as electrification pushes up electricity demand. Countries need to build new clean power fast enough to both meet rising demand and replace coal.

Zero-carbon electricity for all

Ember’s vision for a zero carbon global electricity system

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Wind and solar lead the transition

The electricity grid of the future will be dominated by wind & solar, supported by a mixture of technologies, including hydro, nuclear, geothermal, batteries, hydrogen, and other long-term energy storage.

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Electrify everything

Electrification will cut emissions from transport, heat, industry and other sectors – and every single person in the world’s growing population will have access to power. Global electricity demand will be many times larger than today.

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End the use of fossil fuels

Unabated coal and gas power will be entirely eliminated. There may be a transitional role for CCS — but only if it demonstrably reduces grid carbon intensity (including lifecycle emissions).

We are committed to achieving

Limiting global warming to well below 2C, preferably to 1.5C.

We are behind the goal to reach global peaking of emissions as soon as possible and to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.

Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

In particular we’re focused on SDG7.2 and increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.