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SUVA, 17 October, 2017 – A global alliance on coal phase-out to be championed by Canada and the United Kingdom at COP23 in Bonn sets the roadmap for other developed nations to unite and implement the transition from unabated coal fired electricity and support the Pacific call to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The recent announcement is welcomed by the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) as it shares the ambition of cleaner air and the benefits of moving towards low or non-emitting sources of power are clear.

“We congratulate Canada and the United Kingdom for championing a global alliance on coal-phase out and encourage other developed countries, such as Australia to support this initiative”, said PIDF Secretary General François Martel.

The Secretary General said that for the Pacific islands and PIDF towards and beyond COP23, there are major tasks ahead.

“On one hand, we need to provide support to Pacific countries to ensure they can reach the targets set in the Paris agreement, on the other hand, we need to pursue advocacy and engagement to ensure that what fell off the negotiations in Paris to achieve the main targets of 1.5 degree Celsius are now fully addressed”.

Secretary General Martel said that much faster and decisive action is needed to phase-out coal and prevent coal lock-in and the greater risk of stranded coal mining and coal power station assets and big amounts of already available stocks of coal.

“Urgency and High ambition for drastically reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions need to remain the top priority on the agenda – financing adaptation by development partners should not be the fall-out position for playing lip-service to reducing emissions, nor does it follow the spirit and the letter of the Paris Agreement as ratified”, said the PIDF Secretary General.

Phasing unabated coal power out of the energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technologies will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of communities, and benefit generations to come.

Canada’s electricity generation mix is already one of the cleanest in the world, with over 80% of electricity coming from renewable or non-emitting sources.

Canada strives to have 90% of electricity from non-emitting sources by 2030. Coal-fired electricity is responsible for close to three quarters of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canada’s electricity sector and over 8 percent of Canada’s total GHG emissions.

Coal-fired electricity units are among the largest sources of air pollution in Canada, including sulphur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, and mercury pollutants, which cause significant health and environmental impacts.