Finland could be the first European nation to stop using coal as part of its energy production by 2025.
The Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs said renewables would play a key role if the nation is to make the target. According to the country’s energy and climate strategy, public subsidies would help boost the use of renewable energy and cut fossil fuels by 2020.
During a parliamentary debate, Jyri Hakamies the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs said: “I think we could set a target for Finland phasing out coal use as the first country in Europe, for instance by 2025. Investments into renewable energy will play a key role… All the imported energy which we can replace with domestic energy sources not only creates jobs, but also cuts emissions and improves our current account.”
Reports claim Finland has already begun phasing out its coal usage as it saw a 39% decrease from January to June this year, compared to the same period last year.
Currently the nation imports all its coal from countries such as Russia and Poland. Statistics from Finnish Coal Info show coal imports cost the nation between €70 million to more than €300 million (£240m) every year.
China leads the world in coal usage as it relies on it for around 70% of its energy needs, followed by the US.
Figures from DECC last week showed coal power accounted for the highest share in the UK’s energy mix in the second quarter of this year.