Britain announces closure of coal-fired power plants not fitted with emission controls by 2025

(BBC NEWS, www.abc.net.au | Nov 18, 2015)

British energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd announces closure of coal-fired power plants not fitted with emissions controls by 2025.

All coal power stations that do not have the technology to capture carbon emissions will be closed within 10 years, in line with its pledge to phase out coal.

The pledge comes before the UN Conference of Parties (COP21) summit, due in Paris from November 30 to December 11, where world leaders aim to forge an international deal to curb carbon emissions and stave off the worst effects of global warming.

Britain already plans to close three of its 12 coal power stations by 2016, so the announcement relates to the nine other facilities.

Coal plants equipped with carbon capture systems will continue to operate.

Environmentalists gave the announcement a cautious welcome, but warned that the government planned to switch to gas rather than cleaner technology like wind or solar power.

Coal is widely regarded as the power source responsible for most carbon emissions.

Former US vice president Al Gore, who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, has described the news as "an excellent and inspiring precedent as we head into COP21".

"The UK has become the first major economy to set a clear date to phase out coal, and I am hopeful that others will follow suit."

The president of the Pacific nation of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has urged world leaders to adopt a moratorium on building new coal mines.

"We already have a serious problem, and so as a global community if we don't do anything significant, then countries like mine, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, the Maldives, the low lying islands will be under water," he told AM.
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