London, Jun 30 (EFE).- The United Kingdom will end the use of coal in generating electricity by Oct. 1, 2024, a year earlier than it had planned, the government announced on Wednesday.
The plan is part of a roadmap to “eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050,” the government said in a statement.
“This brings forward the deadline to phase out coal from Great Britain’s energy system by a whole year, highlighting the UK’s leadership to go further and faster in driving down emissions and lead by example in tackling climate change ahead of hosting the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit in Glasgow this November,” it added.
The government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will introduce new legislation to phase out coal-generated power “at the earliest opportunity,” the press release stated.
“Coal powered the industrial revolution 200 years ago, but now is the time for radical action to completely eliminate this dirty fuel from our energy system,” Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.
“Today we’re sending a clear signal around the world that the UK is leading the way in consigning coal power to the history books,” she added.
In 2020, coal represented 1.8 percent of the UK’s mix to generate electricity as compared to 40 percent nearly a decade ago, the government said, highlighting the “huge progress” that the country has made in reducing coal in the power sector in recent years.
Coal is one of the most polluting fossil fuels, so its elimination will help ensure that the increase in global temperature is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the government argued.
“The next decade will be make, or break, for our planet and the most powerful way we can make a difference is to end our reliance on coal,” COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said.
“Ahead of COP26, I hope the UK’s decisive step towards a cleaner, greener future sends a clear signal to friends around the world that clean power is the way forward,” he added. EFE