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Challenge to EU leaders: Time to move Europe Beyond Coal

02 November 2017
by CAN Europe -- last modified 02 November 2017

Health, environment and climate groups are calling on the European Union to hasten the move away from coal and other fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy. As ‘Europe Beyond Coal’ launches, Brussels-based groups have set the EU five challenges to help Europe become coal-free by 2030.


As the world's nations convene in Bonn for the 'COP23' climate conference, civil society groups are today launching Europe Beyond Coal, an international campaign to combat the worsening impacts of climate change and air pollution by accelerating the move away from coal and towards clean, renewable energy.

Underscoring the need for this urgent shift, new health impact modelling released by the campaign shows that in 2015 the EU's coal fleet alone was responsible for an estimated 19,500 premature deaths and 10,000 cases of chronic bronchitis in adults. The health costs of coal are equally staggering: up to €54 billion in the same one-year period.

With the launch of the campaign, Europe Beyond Coal partners have challenged the EU to take five actions to bring an end to Europe's most harmful fuel.

  1. Stop coal subsidies
    // including by ending state aid for operating mines and stopping coal from receiving capacity payments.
  2. Fix the Emission Trading System
    // by cutting surplus pollution permits and ensuring modernisation payments don't fund coal.
  3. Support the Just Transition
    // for affected communities and regions to move away from coal and into safe and sustainable employment.
  4. Stop wasting energy and commit to 100% renewables
    // by raising targets for energy efficiency and renewables so that coal plants can close even sooner.
  5. Enforce and strengthen EU protections on air quality
    // by taking action to ensure countries meet their commitments to reduce air pollution, and updating air quality limits.

More details about the five challenges can be found in the joint paper published today.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 140 member organisations in more than 30 European countries - representing over 44 million citizens - CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.

Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe)
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