Canada, UK push world to quit coal

Both put phase-out dates in place

The Northern Star - - NEWS - Harry Cock­burn The In­de­pen­dent

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.