Canada, UK push world to quit coal
Both put phase-out dates in place
THE UK has committed to a program that will phase coal out of all electricity generation by 2025.
The firm commitment to end coal in the UK follows a meeting between Canada’s Minister of Environment, Catherine McKenna, and UK Climate Minister Claire Perry in London.
Canada has also said it will close its coal power stations by 2030 and both countries are urging others to put a stop to coal-powered energy generation.
The UK commitment follows an earlier pledge by Home Secretary Amber Rudd to phase out coal.
It was “perverse” and “simply not sustainable” for Britain to be so dependent on the “dirtiest fossil fuel”, she said in a speech in November last year.
The government’s new vow came five months after it was discovered ministers were considering allowing coal-fired power stations to continue operating if they could reduce emissions by a certain amount using carbon capture and storage technology.
Coal provided the UK with 9% of all power generation in 2016, down from 22% in 2015.
On April 21 this year, Britain went a full day without using coal power for the first time since the industrial revolution.
The number of coal power stations in Britain has dwindled in recent years. Three closed last year. Meanwhile, wind farms and solar parks have proliferated across the country as a result of green subsidies, falling costs and the UK’s legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gases by a minimum of 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.
Ms McKenna and Ms Perry released a joint statement calling for an end to the use of coal.
“Phasing unabated coal power out of the energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technologies will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of our communities, and benefit generations to come,” the statement said.
“We are doing our part, but we recognise the need to accelerate the international transition from burning coal to using cleaner power sources.”