Smoky coal banned from September

Ireland is to join an international alliance committed to accelerating the end of coal use for power generation and for other forms of energy. Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten confirmed the move after a meeting with his Canadian counterpart in Toronto.

The move means a nationwide ban on use of smoky coal will come into force in September, Mr Naughten said, but, more significantly, use of coal at the ESB Moneypoint generation station will be ended by 2025.

The Moneypoint move was flagged in the National Development Plan 2018-2027. Countries joining the alliance also commit to developing cleaner technologies especially in the context of climate change. Coal-fired plants currently generate 40% of the world’s electricity and are a leading source of carbon emissions. The “Powering Past Coal” alliance of states, regions and businesses was announced at the UN climate talks in Bonn during November 2017 in an initiative led by Canada and the UK, who since then contacted the Government about joining. Ireland was the 27th country to join.

The ESB has been reducing coal consumption at the facility in Co. Clare since 2012 but has yet to announce an alternative energy source. It is expected this will probably be natural gas, which is cleaner than coal though it’s a fossil fuel.

Canadian minister of environment and climate change Catherine McKenna welcomed Ireland’s move. “It’s simply the right thing to do to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we applaud Ireland in joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.”

Source: The Irish Times