But globally, despite the rapidly falling cost of renewables so that they are cheaper than coal and gas in most countries, over 50 countries are still planning new coal plants whilst one coal power station needs to close every day until 2040.
That is why, alongside leaders in the politics, finance and technology of the global power sector, we have launched the COP26 Energy Transition Council. The UK COP26 President, Alok Sharma, will chair the council alongside the co-chair Damilola Ogunbiyi, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy. The Council will harness multilateral convening power and sector expertise to more rapidly find solutions to drive forward a transition to clean energy in developing countries.
The arguments for a clean energy transition are clear for Nepal. The UK is helping to invest in clean energy including hydropower where Nepal has already mobilised around $6 billion of investment. We now want to help mobilise a further $22.5 billion for hydropower investment. Investment that can create over a hundred thousand construction jobs in the next decade and generate revenue of over Rs1 trillion ($9 billion) per year if fully exploited through power exports to the region.
UK Solar power support is also helping Nepal reach the government’s target of 500MW of solar production and solar home systems for 600,000 households in the next five years that will reduce drudgery and air pollution impacts for women.
Speeding up the move to renewables is not just good for the environment and for health, it is good for jobs and growth, too. Both solar and wind power costs fell by 13% in 2018 — and soon it will be cheaper in all countries to install new renewable capacity than to continue to run existing coal plants.