New Initiative Unveiled to Expedite Transition of Coal Plants Globally at UN Climate Change Conference
RMI and partners say well-designed financial mechanisms can support an equitable transition from coal to clean energy.
November 4, 2021, Glasgow — Today, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), RMI, Climate Smart Ventures, the Carbon Trust and the International Network of Energy Transition Think Tanks (INETT) announced the Coal Asset Transition Accelerator (CATA), a first-of-its-kind platform that will use finance to accelerate the coal transition globally.
CATA comes at a crucial moment. With clean energy at an economic tipping point in most regions around the world, the transition from coal to clean energy is a critical lever to achieve the emissions reductions required in this decisive decade for climate.
“RMI is excited to join as a core partner of CATA. Ensuring we successfully navigate the rapid, equitable, and managed transition away from coal is critical to transforming the global energy system to secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all,” said Koben Calhoun, Principal for RMI’s Carbon-Free Electricity Program.
CATA will empower local governments, utilities, financiers and civil society organizations with cutting-edge analyses, leading expertise and a suite of tools and resources to transition from coal to clean energy.
“What is clear is that economics and climate policy alone will not take coal off the system as quickly as the climate science urges and that financial mechanisms that respect regional and local context and take into account just transition are key,” said Laurence Tubiana, President and CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), who introduced CATA to delegates at COP26.
Funded by the IKEA foundation and the Growald Climate Fund, CATA is currently in its inception phase and aims to reflect a globally balanced collaborative effort. It will initially work in geographies already deep in energy transition discussions, such as South Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The new platform also seeks to track and learn from leading countries and organizations as they launch and implement their coal transition mechanisms, including securitization in the United States, the Climate Investment Funds Accelerating Coal Transition Investment Program and the Asian Development Bank’s Energy Transition Mechanism.
Today’s announcement builds on RMI’s latest research report, Financing the Coal Transition—a follow-up to the major 2020 report How to Retire Early—that dives deeper into the role of financial mechanisms in helping accelerate the global coal transition. The report assesses a subset of these financial mechanisms and explores the trade-offs between them within different implementation environments.
CATA is currently in its inception phase and will launch in mid-2022.
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RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.