Skip to main content

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Powering Past Coal Alliance Launch the “Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown”

New go-to online resource will count down the world’s remaining 6,601 coal plant units and showcase progress towards a clean energy future as governments increase climate ambition ahead of COP26

Today, on the first day of the 2021 Powering Past Coal Alliance Global Summit, Michael R. Bloomberg, the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions and Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, launched the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown – a new online data resource that tracks the retirement of coal plant units around the world. Created in partnership with the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), the dashboard provides data about the world’s remaining coal plant units as governments and businesses accelerate the transition from coal power to clean energy.

“There’s a saying I like: ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “Coal-fired power plants are the single biggest contributor to climate change and a major source of deadly pollutants. This new countdown tracker will be a go-to source for clear, accurate, and reliable data on coal plant closures around the world – and we’ve made it easy for the public to find and use, so we can track our progress and accelerate the transition to clean energy.”

Free access to accurate and transparent data on the status of global coal power is essential to accelerating and tracking the countdown to a clean-energy future. Powered by leading data and research organizations, the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown presents global and country-level progress to-date, highlighting countries that are leading the way and showcasing the growing momentum to move away from coal power.

“I am pleased that Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Powering Past Coal Alliance are working in close collaboration towards our shared goal of eliminating unabated coal-fired power,” said The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. “By working together, we are accelerating the momentum already underway to transition to cleaner energy and a cleaner economy. There is no path to creating a livable world for our children and grandchildren if we do not rapidly phase out the use of unabated coal-fired power.”

Built with data and insights from Global Energy Monitor, the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown helps users quickly find and analyze key data about coal-fired power plant units larger than 30MW at the global, country, and plant-level views.

The Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ strategic partnership with the PPCA to strengthen governments’ clean energy transition plans through analysis and innovations to support the transition away from coal power. Following its launch, the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown will continue to expand its functionality and features, aggregating resources from some of the world’s foremost climate research organizations. Future developments will specifically focus on providing additional emissions and health-related data and analysis at the country level.

One-third of all carbon emissions come from burning coal, making it the single largest contributor to climate change. Phasing out coal power as quickly as possible is a crucial step in the fight against climate change and improving public health. To stay within 1.5°C of warming – the limits science demands to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling to phase out coal by 2030 for the OECD and EU27 and by 2040 everywhere else. Thankfully, the work to phase out coal is already well underway. The U.S. has shuttered or announced plans to retire more than 60% of its coal plants over the last decade, and nearly half of Europe’s coal fleet has been confirmed for retirement in just the past five years.

The Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown reinforces the continued and longstanding efforts by Mike Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies to advance the transition to clean energy around the world. Bloomberg’s backing of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign has helped secure the retirement of 339 of the 530 U.S. coal plants in the past decade. Building on that success, Bloomberg Philanthropies supported the creation of a sister campaign in Europe that has secured the retirement of 156 coal plants since 2016. That success inspired the launch of new campaigns in Australia in 2019 and in South Korea and Japan in 2020.

###

About the Global Coal Countdown
Led by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the Powering Past Coal Alliance, and powered by leading data and research organizations, the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown is the go-to online resource to track the world’s progress toward phasing out coal.

The Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown aggregates data from organizations including Global Energy Monitor, the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. The website counts down the world’s remaining coal plant units as decision makers across governments and the private sector work together to accelerate the transition to a clean-energy future.

Access the interactive dashboard at www.BloombergCoalCountdown.com.

About Powering Past Coal Alliance
The Powering Past Coal Alliance was formed by Canada and the UK in 2017 to bring together national and subnational governments and the private sector to accelerate the phase-out of unabated coal power. Since then, the Alliance has grown to more than 100 members who are at the forefront of accelerating real-world action on coal power phase-out. The PPCA encourages all members to endorse the PPCA Declaration – including a commitment to phase out coal by 2030 in the OECD and EU, and by 2050 in the rest of the world.

On 2 March 2021, Ministers and key leaders from international organisations, industry and civil society are convening for the first Global Summit of the Powering Past Coal Alliance to discuss actions to accelerate the pace of the transition from coal to clean energy ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26 in November. The summit continues through 4 March, with six sessions exploring themes at the cutting edge of the transition away from coal power generation. Sessions can be accessed online via www.ppcasummit.org.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok.

Media Contact:
Daphne Wang – Bloomberg Philanthropies, +1 646-771-1473, daphne@bloomberg.org