Coal phase out for health overdue

New briefing underlines that lignite coal plants should be closed first

Despite commitments made in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, countries in the European Region continue to fuel climate change and air pollution – both affecting health on a large scale – through coal power generation. A new briefing by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) (also available in German and and Turkish) demonstrates that 50% of the global lignite mining and use is taking place in Europe. Lignite coal – also called brown coal – is a form of coal that is highly inefficient and polluting.  Assessing lignite and hard coal over their life cycles shows that lignite is the most health harming form of coal and should be abolished as soon as possible.

“While European leaders have committed to tackling climate change and many initiatives are underway to mitigate its effects, many still approve of the energy sector in Europe relying on the burning of coal power, in particular on the production and use of lignite coal. Lignite production has remained the same since 2010, which is in clear contradiction to political goals”, says Anne Stauffer, Director for Strategy and Campaigns at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). “Burning lignite and hard coal releases thousands of tons of health-harming air pollutants and makes already poor air quality worse.”

read more … Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

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