Thursday, April 06, 2017

EU Utilities Vow End to Coal After 2020, as Trump Promises Revival

Citing climate change and the Paris climate agreement, EU energy companies in 26 of 28 countries make momentous pledge to stop building coal plants.

Coal-fired plant in Jaenschwalde, Germany. Utilities European Union member countries have pledged no new coal after 2020, in order to meet obligations under the Paris climate agreement. (Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
In a historic pledge, the European Union's electric utilities announced on Wednesday they will no longer build coal-fired plants after 2020, citing the need for action on climate change to guarantee "sustainability of the global economy."

The announcement came at an annual meeting of Eurelectric, the association representing 3,500 utilities across the EU.  National energy companies in 26 out of 28 EU countries have joined the initiative, except for utilities in Poland and Greece.

"The power sector is determined to lead the energy transition and back our commitment to the low-carbon economy with concrete action," said Eurelectric president and chief executive of the Portuguese energy group EDP, António Mexia, in a press release.  "With power supply becoming increasingly clean, electric technologies are an obvious choice for replacing fossil fuel based systems for instance in the transport sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

In a statement adopted by Eurelectric's board of directors, the group said that it would place a moratorium on the construction of coal plants within three years.  The pledge, the statement says, was intended to help countries meet their carbon reduction targets under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

"This commitment to decarbonize electricity generation, together with the electrification of key sectors, such as heating, cooling and transport, will make a major contribution to help Europe meet its climate change targets," the directors said.

Read more at EU Utilities Vow End to Coal After 2020, as Trump Promises Revival

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