Prime minister Theresa May has reiterated the UK’s commitment to phase out unabated coal by 2025. Green campaigners have welcomed the move and called for an action plan for delivery.
In a joint press conference with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on a trade visit to Canada today (September 18th), May said: “We have confirmed our joint commitment to supporting the global transition away from a reliance on coal as an energy source. Once again, the UK and Canada will lead the way, and I am pleased to announce that the UK will aim to phase out unabated coal by 2025.”
In response to the comments, Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said: “Theresa May’s reaffirmation of her government’s commitment to phase out coal power is to be welcomed. Coal remains a major driver of climate change, and by leaving this polluting fuel behind Britain can show the global climate leadership the prime minister has promised.
“The first announcement of a UK coal phase-out was nearly two years ago so it’s now time for the government to spell out how this will be delivered. The UK has already had its first coal-free days. With the price of offshore wind and other renewables plummeting, the opportunity to move Britain to a cleaner future at low cost and with new employment opportunities has never been greater.
“As the country that sparked an industrial revolution fuelled by coal, it makes sense for Britain to lead the way in heralding a clean industrial revolution powered by renewables.”
Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, said: “Theresa May’s reiteration of the government’s commitment to the coal phase out and first public statement on this matter is very welcome. Now a robust plan for how she proposes to achieve it is needed.”
Then-energy secretary Amber Rudd announced plans to phase out unabated coal by 2025 in November 2015 as part of a ‘reset’ of energy policy.