EU must shut coal plants by 2030 to meet climate pledge: study

Research institute Climate Analytics estimated that the EU's carbon budget, which is how much carbon dioxide it can emit to stay
Research institute Climate Analytics estimated that the EU's carbon budget, which is how much carbon dioxide it can emit to stay under two degrees Celsius, is at 6.5 gigatonnes by 2050

The European Union must close all 315 of its coal-fired power plants by 2030 in order to meet its commitments under the Paris climate agreement, a research institute said Thursday.

The goal set at the December 2015 Paris conference to maintain average temperature increases to less than two Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels requires the gradual closure of EU , Climate Analytics said.

"The long-term temperature goal adopted under the Paris agreement... requires a rapid decarbonisation of the global power sector and the phaseout of the last unabated coal-fired power plant in the EU by around 2030," the report said.

Climate Analytics estimated that the EU's carbon budget, which is how much carbon dioxide it can emit to stay under two degrees Celsius, is at 6.5 gigatonnes by 2050.

The institute said the EU will exceed the budget by 85 percent by then if it continues with current emissions rates at coal plants.

It said there were 315 coal plants across the 28-nation bloc, and that 11 newly announced plants would raise EU emissions to almost twice the levels required to limit rises.

"We find the cheapest way for the EU to make the emissions cuts required to meet its Paris Agreement commitments is to phase out coal from the electricity sector, and replace this capacity with renewables and energy efficiency measures," said Paola Yanguas Parra, a lead author of the report.

Parra said Germany and Poland had the most work to do as they were together responsible for 54 percent of from coal.


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Citation: EU must shut coal plants by 2030 to meet climate pledge: study (2017, February 9) retrieved 21 February 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-eu-coal-climate-pledge.html
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