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World Bank, Canada and UK to support developing countries transition away from coal

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World Coal,

The World Bank, Canada and the United Kingdom have announced financial, technical and advisory support for developing countries that have decided to transition away from coal and accelerate the uptake of cleaner sources of energy.

The Canadian government pledged up to CAN$275 million to fund the Energy Transition and Coal Phase-Out Program. This funding will help developing countries in Asia to slow coal production, while scaling up energy efficiency and low carbon energy alternatives.

At the same time, the UK government pledged £20 million to the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), a global knowledge and technical assistance programme administered by the World Bank to help low and middle income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions.

Both these programmes will support the deployment of solar and battery storage, geothermal and offshore wind development, coal plant closure and improvement in energy efficiency, particularly in buildings and cooling.

With the new financial support from Canada and the UK, the World Bank will also expand its work to help countries that have made the decision to transition away from coal close mines and address the resulting socioeconomic impacts on workers and communities. This means taking steps to protect jobs and skills and preserve the environment, including through strong social safety nets for coal mine workers and the reclamation and repurposing of coal mine areas.

In conjunction with COP24 in Poland, the World Bank is launching a new report titled ‘Managing Coal Mine Closure: Achieving a Just Transition for All’, which outlines the lessons learned from coal mine closures to date, and key steps governments can take to minimise social conflict and economic distress.

Governments play a leading role in this transition, bearing the cost of physical closure of mines and labour transition programmes, even when coal mines are privately owned. While many coal mining areas are unable to create new job opportunities, governments can implement labour mobility schemes, enabling coal mining communities to move to areas with strong economies and new job prospects. Because the coal mine industry has shifted from West to East, future coal mine closures and associated job losses will be concentrated in Asia, with the top three global coal producers, China, India and Indonesia, the most affected.

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