The number of coal-fired power plants developed globally dropped steeply last year, a new report reveals.
In 2018 there were 20 per cent fewer newly completed coal plants and new construction starts dropped 39 per cent compared to the year before.
Last year there were 83,098 coal projects given approvals to go ahead globally, compared to 103,613 a year earlier and 168,230 in 2015.
The report released on Thursday by Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace Environment Trust and US-based environmental organisation Sierra Club also found that of all the coal projects retired last year, half were in the US.
Last year was the third highest year for retirements across the world.
The report comes after the Morrison government revealed it may underwrite a coal-fired power plant upgrade in NSW and is funding a feasibility study into another coal project in Queensland.
But the report warns global climate goals cannot be met unless there are no more new coal plants and existing facilities are rapidly retired.
BNP Paribas Asset Management earlier this month announced plans to divest more than $US1 billion ($A1.4 billion) from coal.
Head of sustainable research Mark Lewis says the company, which has more than $US450 billion in assets under management, is aligning its portfolios with the Paris Agreement.
“And because we believe the momentum against coal from an economic point of view is now unstoppable,” he said.