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Only eight EU countries to phase out coal by 2030

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 19, 2019
The EU said that eight of its 28 member countries aim to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2030.
European economies   More and more member states are making the political commitment
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said it received the pledges as contributions to the bloc's efforts to deliver on the landmark 2015 deal.

"More and more member states are making the political commitment to phase out coal in the next decade," EU climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said.

Canete said that among the European Union countries introducing or confirming such timelines, France intends to phase out coal by 2022—before Italy and Ireland by 2025.

Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Finland aim to do so by 2030, the Spanish commissioner told a press conference in Brussels.

Standing by Canete, commission vice president Maros Sefcovic called the pledges "quite a significant signal coming from quite an important number of member states."

The commission added that Germany, the EU's most powerful economy and biggest polluter, has also indicated it will set "an end date" for coal-based electricity.

An EU official told AFP the remaining 20 countries, including heavily coal-dependent Poland, had not submitted timelines for weaning themselves off the fossil fuel.

Berlin-based Climate Analytics said the impact of the pledges was limited as the eight countries account for less than 20 percent of the EU's total installed coal capacity.

Under current pledges, "40 percent of current capacity will still be online in 2030," the research institute's Paola Yanguas Parra told AFP.

"This is highly inconsistent with the Paris Agreement, which requires a full phase out in the EU by 2030," Yanguas Parra said in an email.