As fortunes continue to fade for coal, new beginnings are on the horizon for renewables. Oregon has become the first US state to introduce legislation that phases out coal completely by 2030, and doubles renewables in their energy mix by 2040.
Meanwhile in Canada, the Ontario-based Nanticoke coal plant – formerly the largest in North America – will be repurposed into a solar farm, producing 45 MW of power.
According to the International Energy Agency, the global surge in renewables is having an impact on CO2 emissions, which have stalled for the second year in a row.
With subnational governments stepping up for the climate, and world leaders expected to ratify the Paris deal in a matter of weeks, these latest developments signal an uptick in momentum in the ongoing transition towards a 100 per cent clean energy future.
- Strong policies have sent renewables soaring. Where Ontario led the way – becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to eradicate coal power for health and environmental reasons – others, including Oregon, are now following, taking steps to phase out coal in favour of clean, safe renewables. By implementing strong and stable policies that allow clean energy to thrive, governments are also boostingbusinesses, jobs and the economy.
- Replacing fossils with renewables benefits lungs and wallets. The US was up to $5.5 billion richer in 2013 due to the cleaner air brought by renewables. Reducing air pollution by ditching dirty energy not only protects people’s health – especially children and the most vulnerable – it saves money on medical care and sick days.
- To accelerate the ongoing transition, fossil fuels need to stay in the ground. Momentum is higher than ever, with leaders around the world are taking steps to cement their Paris pledges into national policy. With all eyes on leaders to keep their word, people around the world will also be making their voice heard this spring and urging governments to break free from fossil fuels for good.