Paris Agreement: EU coal-fired power stations should be closed by 2030
Thursday, 09 February 2017
A report by the institute Climate Analytics indicates that all EU coal-fired power plants should be closed by 2030. This will allow the EU to meet its commitments, as part of the Paris agreement in the fight against climate change. The objectives agreed in the French capital in December 2015 to keep the average temperature increase at less than 2°C compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels “require rapid de-carbonisation of the global energy production sector and the gradual end of coal-fired power stations in the EU around 2030,” according to a study published on Thursday by this institute, which promotes sustainable development.
Climate Analytics has calculated the EU “carbon budget”, namely what constitute acceptable CO2 emissions, for the temperature increase to remain below 2°C. This is 6.5 gigatonnes by 2050.
The report’s authors stress that with the current rate of scheduled operations for nuclear power stations, this budget will exceed 85% by this date.
The share of carbon and lignite in the production of electricity in the EU fell by 21% between 1990 and 2014, or 1% per year, according to figures from the European Environment Agency. In 2014, it was one quarter of European electricity production, compared to 40% in 1990, whilst, in the same time period, the share of renewable energies went from 13% to 29%.
The Climate Analytics experts stress that two countries, Germany and Poland, are responsible for 51% of installed capacity and 54% of emissions from coal-fired power stations.
“There is an increasing disparity between member states in their approach to the future of coal”, they note. They deplore the construction of coal-fired projects within certain countries such as Poland and Greece.
To meet the limits for temperature increases, the institute considers that a quarter of coal-fired power stations already operating should be closed by 2025.