Egypt has taken a significant step in its commitment in its commitments to cleaner energy as the country alongside 16 other African countries has begun the process of totalling phasing out coal as a source of power.
The North African country which is set to play host to COP27, an environmental conference in the year 2022 has made a major statement with the cancelation of a 15.3 GW of coal power capacity it proposed in 2017.
A “No New Coal by 2021 Factbook’ published by Ember, E3G and Global Energy Monitor, indicated that 16 African countries are in the process of completely phasing out coal as a source of power.
According to the report, about half of the listed countries are the ones without current projects at any construction stage, with the possibility of committing to the ‘No New Coal’ very high.
There is a possibility that the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference, coined as COP26, which is set to hold in Glasgow, Scotland, later this month may compel the countries to align with the ‘No New Coal’ move.
Nigeria, Ghana, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia, Sudan and Guinea are among 36 economies in the world at the forefront of the campaign against coal mining.
“African nations are well-positioned to commit to ‘No New Coal,’” say the authors of the fact-book.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres had in March this year advocated for an immediate global action that will see the phasing out of coal by 2021, with COP President Designate Alok Sharma joining the call for nations to consign coal to history at the COP26.
“Egypt can advocate for other countries to commit to no new coal, speaking from the strong foundation of its own experience,” says the factbook.
Though some African countries have started ending new coal mining projects, other new projects on the Africa continent are not finding it easy as they are facing strong public opposition.
The China-sponsored Aboano plant, incidentally the only proposed power station in Ghana was cancelled after severe public opposition.
Ethiopia on its own has committed to no new coal power generation in 2017,in the wake of its membership of the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Tanzania, Djibouti, eSwatini and Ivory Coast are among the other countries readily committing to no new coal projects.
The report further noted that Kenya has multiple proposed projects being cancelled or shelved with the remaining proposed Lamu project, located at a World Heritage Site, an vivid example of how coal power projects conflict with the wishes of the local community and broader civil society.
In like manner, work on the proposed Imaloto coal station in Madagascar has been continuously delayed, ‘with no secure commitments still made.’
“The country could cancel this project and commit to no new coal,” reads the report in part.
The report also showed that the global pipeline of proposed coal power plants has collapsed 76% since the Paris Agreement in 2015, while showing that during the period under review, about 1,175GW of planned coal-fired power projects got cancelled, due to government policies and sustained civil society opposition that had hitherto influenced coal market trends.
“The world has avoided a 56% expansion of the total global coal fleet (as of June 2021), which would have been equivalent to adding a second China (1,047GW) to global coal capacity,” according to the report.
It further stated that majority of the shelved projects are likely to be cancelled perpetually, instead of the continuation, with more than 80 percent of the cancelled capacity (1175GW) initially classified as shelved, due to a lack of progress.
“The remaining 20% was directly cancelled with an announcement by the project developer and/or government,” says the report.
See full report below,