By Mariaan Webb
November 2, 2021 - Canada has committed to stop thermal coal exports by no later than 2030, as part of its efforts to support a global phase-out of thermal coal in the fight against climate change, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday.
The ban would follow action already taken, including accelerating the phasing out of conventional coal-fired electricity in the country by 2030 and putting in place investments of more than $185-million to support coal workers and their communities through the transition to cleaner energy.
The Canadian government earlier this year already announced that it would not approve new thermal coal mining projects or plans to expand existing mines because of the potential for environmental damage.
Trudeau also announced that Canada, which is among the world's biggest oil and gas producers, would move to cap and reduce pollution from the oil and gas industry to net zero by 2050.
To help do this at a pace and scale needed to achieve the shared goal of net zero by 2050, he said government would set five-year targets, and would ensure that the sector made a meaningful contribution to meeting Canada's 2030 climate goals.
The government was seeking the advice of the Net-Zero Advisory Body on how best to move forward on this approach, said Trudeau, who is in Glasgow, Scotland, for the UN COP26 climate negotiations.
Meanwhile, Canada also committed up to $1-billion for the Climate Investment Fund's Accelerated Coal Transition Investment Program to help developing countries transition from coal-fired electricity to clean power as quickly as possible.
This investment would lead to the successful implementation of country-level strategies and associated kick-start projects, build support at the local and regional levels, and accelerate the retirement of existing coal mines and coal power plants, while enabling new economic activities and contributing to a socially inclusive and gender equal transition.
In addition, the Prime Minister announced $25-million in funding to the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, a partnership with the World Bank. This would help develop and implement clean energy alternatives, and support low- and middle-income countries in the transition to a cleaner economy.
"Climate action can't wait. Since 2015, Canada has been a committed partner in the fight against climate change, and as we move to a net-zero future, we will continue to do our part to cut pollution and build a cleaner future for everyone. Together, we will beat this crisis while creating a green economy and new middle class jobs for Canadians," said Trudeau.