EU nations ‘must back new coal plant standards’

A wind energy advocacy group has called on EU Member States to push through new standards for fossil fuel plants. Today, European nations are due to vote whether to accept an updated set of environmental rules for coal […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A wind energy advocacy group has called on EU Member States to push through new standards for fossil fuel plants.

Today, European nations are due to vote whether to accept an updated set of environmental rules for coal and lignite-fired power plants.

WindEurope claims some governments seek to protect these industrial sectors by demanding a weakening of the proposed emissions limits.

It’s calling on EU Member States to adopt the proposals as they stand, without watering down any of the environmental standards.

The group says the new limits would reduce air pollutants such as dust, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, improve thermal efficiency and reduce soil and water pollution.

The change would likely accelerate the closure of older, inefficient power plants and discourage new investments in coal and lignite.

It adds removing this unnecessary capacity could also help restore wholesale electricity prices to the levels needed to support investments in cleaner and more efficient power generation.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “The new standards that are on table to be approved don’t come from the green lobby.

“They come from experts including those in industry who know what is technically and economically feasible. It’s extraordinary that some Member States want to vote against them.”

A global investment firm is to divest from companies which rely on coal for more than half of their revenue.