Energy from Coal is a Major Cause of Climate Change – it’s time to move on
Producing energy from coal is a major source of the UK’s carbon emissions, which contribute to Climate Change and the negative impact it has on people, communities and the environment. That’s why the UK government is committed to reducing the country’s carbon emissions, and why we need to reduce, not increase, our dependence on coal.
Producing energy by Coal is one of the biggest sources of UK carbon emission. By head of its population the UK has been the World’s top carbon polluter due to its historical reliance on coal as an energy source .The Climate Change Act of 2008 committed the UK Government to ensuring a net reduction (by comparison with the 1990 baseline) of at least 80% in the UK’s carbon account by 2050.
Proposals have recently been published by the EU  about how to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 to no more than 60% of the 1990 output, a key staging post toward an 80% reduction by 2050. The UK Energy Minister, Ed Davey has welcomed the proposals and indeed has said  that Europe should be prepared to accept a 50% target. The International Energy Agency estimates  that the global demand for coal will need to fall by 45% by 2050, by comparison with 2009 levels.
The UK Committee on a Climate Change, an official body established by the Climate Change Act says that there is good scientific evidence to show that our climate is changing because of the emission of greenhouse gases. The Committee advises  that, without efforts to cut the global use of fossil fuel, global warming this century will have significant effects on human welfare and ecological systems. The Committee said that to meet carbon budget targets will require the UK to reduce fossil fuel emissions by 3% a year. It recommended  that the Government should continue its policies toward achieving a low-carbon economy.
Continuing the UK’s dependence on coal is not only bad for local communities and people’s health, it’s bad for our climate and our environment too. That’s why we believe it’s time to move on from the coal economy, which includes an end to destructive opencast mining.
1. Environment Letters Journal January 2014
2. European Commission 2030 White Paper on Climate Change
3. Department of Energy and Climate Change Press Release 22 January 2014
4. Department of Energy and Climate Change Press Release 20 Nov 2013
5. Committee on Climate Change website. 29 Jan 2014
6. Fourth Carbon Budget Review December 2013