No New Coal Factbook

by | Oct 7, 2021

Data insights on economies that could commit to No New Coal.

In September, E3G, Ember and Global Energy Monitor launched a new report, ‘No New Coal by 2021’. The report details the progress made since the Paris Agreement in 2015, as the pipeline of proposed new coal power plants collapsed and countries have committed to phase out coal, bringing the end of new coal power construction in sight.

But there are still lots of countries that have yet to explicitly commit to “no new coal”. For many regions, there are only a handful or less of coal plants in planning, and quite often they are zombie projects, unlikely to ever be built. COP26 is drawing nearer, and its call to “consign coal to history” is gaining momentum. Leadership needs to speak up, and make clear their intention to shun new coal.

Ember’s new factbook, released today, shows what it would take for regions to commit to No New Coal. It cites the latest intelligence on new coal power plants in 70+ economies, alongside examples of pathfinding countries that have recently committed. We hope it will become the definitive handbook to bring an end to new coal power plants across the world.

The report comes as 7 governments including Sri Lanka, Chile and Germany announced a ‘No New Coal Power Compact’ at the UNGA on 24th September, inviting more countries to join the commitment ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November.

The global pipeline of coal plants is rapidly shrinking

There remain just 21 economies that have a pre-construction pipeline of more than one coal plant, with the largest pipelines in China, India, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh. Eighty per cent of these countries have projects that are seeking financing from China, which now face an uncertain future following China’s recent announcement that it will end support for overseas coal projects.

A further 16 economies have just one proposed coal plant and could readily commit to no new coal projects, including Australia, Cambodia, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Poland.

The report identifies 40 economies, including 8 in the OECD and EU, that could immediately commit to ‘no new coal’. 36 of these have no projects in the development pipeline or under construction. A further 4 economies (Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan) are currently constructing plants but have no further pipeline.

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