Countries, states, provinces vow to phase out coal use

Countries, states, provinces vow to phase out coal use
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A group of 19 countries and a handful of provinces and states, including Washington, is vowing to phase out their use of coal for electricity generation as part of the United Nations climate conference. 

Officials announced the new coalition, called the Powering Past Coal Alliance, on Thursday at the annual U.N. climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. They said they will look to more than double their membership by next year’s meeting.

The countries — led by the United Kingdom and Canada — account for just a small percentage of global coal consumption, though several of the nations in the alliance rely on coal for a large amount of their electricity generation.



“Reducing global coal consumption should be a vital and urgent priority for all countries and states. Unabated coal is the dirtiest, most polluting way of generating electricity,” said Claire Perry, the U.K.’s minister for climate change and industry.

“The Powering Past Coal Alliance will signal to the world that the time of coal has passed. The UK is committed to completely phasing out unabated coal-fire power generation no later than 2025 and we hope to inspire others to follow suit.”

Countries involved in the alliance include Costa Rica, Denmark, Italy, France, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and others.

The only U.S. entity involved in the alliance is Washington state. Its governor, Jay Inslee (D), has attended the Bonn conference this week.