Six Countries Have Announced The Imminent Phase-Out Of Coal Power
What do you think of when you think of coal? You probably thing of huge smoke stacks, workers covered in black dust, pollution being pumped into the air, and some commercial on television telling you about “clean coal.” Coal is just plain bad for everyone and everything involved. As we push for clean, renewable fuels, we see more and more coal power plants closing down. Six countries — Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland — have announced they will cease all coal-powered power plants.
These announcements have been made since the landmark Paris Agreement in early November. An agreement that future President Trump could pull America out of.
Canada has already reduced its use of coal power to about 7% of power to the country, and hope to rid itself entirely of it by 2030. Canada is able to do this by heavily investing in hydropower, as well as wind and solar to cover the rest of the generation of power.
France is going to phase-out coal even quicker than Canada by announcing they want to phase it out by 2023. This is seen to been completely achievable since France as already reduced their use of coal to 3%.
Germany also plans to reduce its use of coal by shutting down half of the coal-fired plants by 2030, and then hopefully with its Climate Action Plan 2050, they could remove all of them by 2050.
Finland is simply going to ban all use of coal to produce energy by 2030. Currently, Finland gets 12% of its power from coal, so erasing it entirely by 2030 is a very aggressive stance on the coal industry — power of which it has to import.
Peter Lund, a researcher at Aalto University, and chair of the energy program at the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, told New Scientist about the recently announced ban on coal: “These moves are important forerunners to enforce the recent positive signals in coal use,” Lund explained. “The more countries join the coal phase-out club, the better for the climate as this would force the others to follow.”
We can only hope that more countries join these countries is ridding itself of coal power in the near future. Will America hop on? Probably not soon enough. The US gets about 33% of its power from coal. Trump has promised to “bring back coal jobs” so it looks like it may get worse before it gets better. It would also be quite unthinkable for the biggest superpowers in the world to open up new coal plants to generate electricity.
The Paris Agreement has proven that the majority of countries want to curve climate change, but some countries are either unwilling to change or can’t afford to.
Follow Jeff Sorensen on TWITTER
Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.