11 October 2017
Responding to the joint announcement from the United Kingdom and Canada that they will work to build a global alliance on the transition from unabated coal-fired electricity to cleaner energy, Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, said:
“The UK and Canada’s announcement provides an opportunity for countries to fast track the phase-out of the dirty and dangerous coal-fired electricity and accelerate the shift to renewables to secure better growth and benefits, such as cleaner air, better energy security and a safer climate.
“It is worth noting that both the UK and Canada have already committed to unabated coal phase-out in their domestic energy policies. They are now encouraging the rest of the world to join in the shift away from coal to safer and cleaner energy sources.
“Not only will this fast track the transition towards low-carbon future, but it will also increase the chances of the world delivering the Paris Agreement goal for the world to achieve zero carbon economies by mid-century.
“The UK’s commitment on this issue is vital because it needs high-level political attention – attention that is sorely missing from the Trump-led United States. It will show that the UK is the global climate leader the Government claims to be.
“Coal has helped the UK and the developed world to become rich, but it has been the biggest cause of climate change which is affecting the world’s poor. For cleaner air, a safer climate and brighter future we must now leave it behind.
“To help developing countries leave coal behind and continue to prosper, the UK and Canada, together with other rich countries, must help them harness the renewable energy sources at their disposal. In the same way, Africa has leapfrogged landline phones to mobiles, the developing world must leapfrog the dirty and dangerous fossil fuels of the past to the clean energy sources that will dominate the future global economies of the future.
“The good news is that clean energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels in many contexts, thanks to the rapid falls in the cost of renewable technology. Leaving poor nations stuck with antiquated and polluting fossil fuel systems while richer countries reap the benefit of clean, cheap renewables, will be just another act of betrayal.”
Notes to Editors: