EU starts the long journey away from coal

Date: 6 November 2014

EU climate targets can now be seen concretely in national energy plans and the use of coal. A large coal plant is shut down because it pollutes, Germany is on its way with a phase-out plan.

The use of coal, and thus also the need to transport coal to Europe, has suddenly come very high on the agenda after EU adopted its new, more ambitious climate plan a few days ago, and after the UN Climate Panel has emphasized the need to phase out fossil fuels as soon as possible.

Because even though it is not decisions that mean changes here and now, the EU countries are beginning to make decisions that illustrates that a comprehensive withdrawal from the use of coal and fossil fuels is underway.

Last Friday, it emerged that German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the beginning of December will assess and possibily already decide to close coal-fired plants.

As a former environment minister, it is high on Merkel’s agenda to meet the objectives that Germany reduces its CO2 emissions. Germany has the ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, but is 5-8 percent after the plan, which calls for action.

The German coal plants form a large part of the country’s energy supply. Last year, coal made up 45 percent of the country’s energy supply, while renewable energy amounted to a quarter.

Germany’s ambitious goals are contained in the plan “Energiwende” which sets out guidelines for how to phase out fossil fuels.

According to political sources, the German government will next week publish a “Green Paper” that will form the basis for decisions on German energy policy.

Source: Energiwatch