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11 EU nations to keep burning coal beyond 2030 – study

Coal

29 May 2019 10:15

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Oslo

29 May 2019 10:15

(Montel) Eleven EU member states have no plans to phase out coal by 2030, with most of the capacity located in six countries, a report by environmental groups Sandbag and CAN Europe showed on Wednesday.

In an analysis of 28 member states’ draft energy and climate plans (NECPs) submitted to the European Commission, the NGOs found only eight having a “clear commitment to phase out coal between 2021 and 2030” and two with a vague promise to do so.

Seven member states do not have coal-fired generation.

The vast majority of the EU’s remaining coal power capacity will be located in just six member states by 2030: Poland (27 GW), Germany (17 GW), Czech Republic (7.2 GW), Bulgaria (4.7 GW), Romania (3.2 GW) and Greece (2.7 GW).

Under EU rules, member states must define how they will reduce CO2 emissions and boost renewables by 2030. They have to submit their final climate action plans to the EC by December this year, after receiving feedback on their draft plans from the EC.

The bloc has pledged to cut emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and for renewables to account for 32% of the energy mix.

But the NGOs estimated that there will be 60 GW of installed coal capacity in the EU in 2030, a fall of only 58% compared to current levels (143 GW).

“This suggests that too few member states have grasped the speed and scale of the action needed to transform their energy systems over the next decade,” they said in the study.

Financial support
In addition, several countries are also benefitting from financial support, the report showed.

“Many of the member states with no plans to move away from coal are already benefiting from various EU energy transition support schemes and are asking for increased funding.”

Coal-reliant member states “want to have their cake and eat it” with just transition funding, said Charles Moore, senior energy and policy analyst at Sandbag and one of the authors of the report.

“What remains of the European coal fleet is inefficient, old and dirty. A credible NECP requires a plan for coal. Member states should use the process of developing their NECPs as an opportunity to outline a detailed path towards achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. A coal phase out by 2030 is the first step along this path.”

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