Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Oregon and Washington Join 20 Countries to Phase Out Coal by 2030

Climate
Oregon and Washington Join 20 Countries to Phase Out Coal by 2030
Jennifer Woodard Maderazo / Flickr

Even though the Trump administration used its only public forum at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn to promote coal, it's clear that many individual U.S. businesses, cities and entire states would rather keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Oregon and Washington state have joined a new global alliance to phase out coal and switch to cleaner power sources to avoid dangerous climate change and to stay below the 2°C target set by the landmark Paris climate agreement two years ago.


The Powering Past Coal Alliance, launched Thursday at the climate talks, involves more than 20 nations including Angola, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Portugal and Switzerland, according to Reuters.

Notably, the world's biggest coal users—China, India, the U.S., Germany and Russia—have not joined the new pact.

Members of the new alliance will take actions that include setting coal phase-out targets and barring further investments in coal-fired electricity in their jurisdictions or abroad.

The U.S. member states have already made efforts to phase out coal. In 2016, Oregon passed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act to transition off the polluting fossil fuel. And in 2014, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the use of electrical power produced by coal.

"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," Claire Perry, Britain's Minister for Climate Change and Industry, said. "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."

The plan is to grow the alliance to 50 or more members by the next year's climate talks in Poland.

"Phasing out coal power is good news for the climate, for our health and for our kids. Coal is literally choking our cities, with close to a million people dying every year from coal pollution. I'm thrilled to see so much global momentum for the transition to clean energy—and this is only the beginning," Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said.

Could mouthwash help stop the spread of the new coronavirus? Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Could mouthwash help stop the spread of the new coronavirus?

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This turtle dove is part of Operation Turtle Dove; the European Commission estimates there may be fewer than 5,000 pairs left in the UK. Ian / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Naomi Larsson

For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.

Read More Show Less

Trending

We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.

Read More Show Less
Swimming alongside an animatronic dolphin, a person learns about hydrodynamics. Edge Innovations

Life-sized, ultra-realistic robotic dolphins could help end animal captivity by replacing living creatures in aquariums and theme parks.

Read More Show Less
A Stop the Money Pipeline protester holds a banner outside JP Morgan headquarters in NYC on Feb. 25, 2020; JP Morgan is a top contributor to the fossil fuel industry. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch