Yesterday Alice Stollmeyer asked on Twitter “ What should the European Commission do to improve air quality ? ” as she is participating today to a EU chat session dedicated to green topics. My answer was quite simple:
Ban new coal projects and phase out the existing capacity. Replace by efficiency and renewables. This would create hundred of thousands of jobs, help avoid catastrophic climate change and clean the air.
If we have seen that the United States could be coal-free by 2030, there have been to my humble knowledge no study of such a fact for the European Union.
Given how both the EU and the US have roughly the same share of coal in their energy mix, could the 27 members of the Union ban coal ?
This would be very easy for some countries such as France as they rely very little on that black dirty stuff. However, it would prove to be much harder for former Eastern European nations such as Poland as the vast majority of their electricity comes from coal.
I just wish Humankind as a whole could just stop using coal. It is highly polluting, a major contributor to climate change, harms and kills thousands of lives each month, and it isn’t that cheap anymore compared to renewables such as wind and solar.
Phasing out coal will no doubt be at the heart of the European energy transition…