Many countries across the world have now set deadlines to phase out the use of coal. This article includes five of the most significant countries who have set a deadline and how they plan to phase out the use of coal.
Finland is the most recent addition to the list of nations who have set out plans to remove coal from their power supply. In late February 2020 they set out a plan to phase out coal by May of 2029.
Other European countries, such as Hungary and Austria, have also made official commitments to phasing out coal however Belgium have made the best effort as they have been free of coal since 2016.
Five other key nations are:
The United Kingdom became the first country in the world that officially committed to stop using coal back in 2015. This came just before the Paris Agreement meeting. The original plan was to phase out coal use by 2025, however during a meeting at the beginning of February this year, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, decided to bring forward the deadline to October 2024. By 2024 all coal plants that don’t have some sort of carbon capture technology will be shut down.
Fossil fuels in Britain have been on a sharp decline in the past decade, since 2012 the contribution to the UK power share from fossil fuels has reduced by 80 per cent.
Originally France had planned to stop using coal by 2022, however the current French government was elected after this decision was made and since then there have been no policies set in stone which are geared towards reaching this target.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has confirmed that he aims to achieve the 2022 goal, even going as far as saying it may be achievable by 2021 at various events.
The rate at which France stops using coal power could be hindered by their goal to also cut nuclear power by half. This is because nuclear power can be used to provide power instead of coal, but if the nuclear power is restricted then it will mean that France has to rely on more coal power.
In the latter stages of 2016 Canada announced that it planned to remove coal from its energy mix by 2030. Six of the ten provinces in Canada do not have any coal power plants in them. The remaining four have coal power plants that contribute to an estimated 10 per cent of the countries total carbon dioxide emissions.
Canada also has plans to make sure that 90 per cent of the nation’s electricity is produced by sustainable sources by 2030. A figure that stood at 80 per cent in 2016.
Historically, Germany has been one of the top producers of coal in all of Europe, with an installed capacity of nearly 50 gigawatts. However, it has plans to completely phase out its reliance on coal by 2038.
The agreement was made in January 2020 by a 28 member coal exit commission appointed by the government.
It’s a major step forward in Germanys move towards using more renewable energy which builds on its plans to retire the 17 nuclear power plants by 2022.
In the COP23 conference back in 2017 Denmark renewed its pledge to stop using coal by 2030 after it was scrapped by the government back in 2015.
From 2016 to 2017 coal use in Denmark decreased by 25.5 per cent whilst renewable energy increased by 11.4 per cent in the same time period.
These are promising figures for Denmark and put the country in the right direction in order to completely phase out coal by 2030.