Ahead of the COP26 Summit in November, the UK Government has pledged to cease burning coal for power generation a year earlier than planned.
In November, world leaders will meet in Glasgow at the COP26 summit to discuss the current climate crisis. Ahead of this, the UK Government has promised to cease burning coal for power generation, bringing this plan forward to 2024 in the hopes that other nations will make similar promises.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, minister for energy, clean growth, and climate change called the new deadline for the ending of coal power “fantastic news”, claiming: “we have brought [the plans] forward by a year to 2024 because we have been able to move to a much larger mix of renewables than I think when that 2025 date was set.”
However, this announcement comes as plans are agreed to open a new coking coal mine in Cumbria. In defence of this controversial decision, the minister said the government is exploring “alternate technologies”, but “coking coal will continue to need to be used for a number of years yet.”
“There is coking coal used in heavy intense industries like steel and others where there is still a need because technology hasn’t yet found an alternative solution, but that coal isn’t burning for the purpose of electricity generation”, which is ultimately what the government is aiming to end by 2024.
The focus is largely on coal-burning for electricity generation at present because “by eliminating its use in electricity generation, the UK can make sure it plays a critical role in limiting global temperature rise”.