Power plant operator CLP Holdings pledged on Thursday to phase coal out of its Asian operations by 2040, accelerating its previous commitment by a decade.
The Hong Kong-based group also said it aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in line with the decarbonization goal established by the city’s government.
In coal’s place, CLP expects to rely on a yet-undermined mix of solar, wind, natural gas, nuclear and hydrogen in markets including Hong Kong, mainland China, Australia, India and Taiwan.
The announcement by CLP — the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in Hong Kong’s power generator sector — comes two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged in his address to the U.N. General Assembly that Beijing would stop building new coal-fired plants overseas.
Coal-fired generation accounted for 48% of CLP’s 24.9 gigawatt portfolio of Asian power plants as of June 30.
CLP introduced its Climate Vision 2050 in 2007. In the previous update in December 2019, the company promised not to add new coal-fired power to its portfolio while aiming to phase out coal-based assets by 2050.
Of 14 CLP-backed coal-fired plants now operating, nine are minority-owned. Chief Executive Richard Lancaster said on Thursday that a number of them are “reaching the end of natural life in the next few years.” He expects to be left with “less than a handful” by 2030.