A new initiative to push Europe to ditch coal more quickly – and increase the adoption of renewable energy – has been launched.
The Europe Beyond Coal campaign brings together civil society groups from 28 countries across the continent, united in their commitment to accelerating the shift to clean energy.
“Momentum is building for Europe to be coal free by 2030, and civil society is coming together to make it happen, and happen sooner,” explained Kathrin Gutmann, Europe Beyond Coal Campaign Director. “For nations to meet their commitments under the Paris climate agreement and to protect the wellbeing of its citizens, coal plants need to be closing far faster than they currently are. A coal plant in any one country is a liability for all of Europe, and our planet as a whole.”
She added: “We’re calling on governments, cities, companies, banks and investors to cement their plans to move out of coal before the 2018 international climate meeting in Katowice, Poland. The UN climate meeting starting in Bonn next week is an excellent opportunity for additional, ambitious commitments to phase out coal.”
A number of European nations have already pledged to move beyond coal within the next 10 years, including France, Italy, Finland and Portugal.
The news of the new European platform was welcomed by its sister campaign in America, led by the Sierra Club.
“The US Beyond Coal Campaign welcomes the launch of Europe Beyond Coal. The movement to take the world Beyond Coal is growing, and we’re excited to see this new coalition launch a pan-Europe campaign to take this work to the next level across the entire continent. With several European countries already committed to phase out coal, this new coalition will build on that success and accelerate its progress and ambition — with a clear-eyed goal to ensure a coal-free Europe no later than 2030. Because pollution doesn’t respect borders, neither do the all-too-real health and climate consequences burning coal creates around the world. Coal is estimated to have caused 19,500 premature deaths across Europe in 2015 and 13,200 deaths in the US in 2009 alone. Here in the US, we are retiring coal plants at the same rate under the Trump Administration as we did during the Obama years, and that continued progress is essential to tackling the climate crisis and saving lives cut short by pollution. We look forward to increasing our collaboration with this campaign across the Atlantic, to build a better world together,” the Sierra Club said in a statement.