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ClientEarth Communications

2nd November 2018

Fossil fuels
State Aid
Renewable Energy
Clean energy

ClientEarth joins ranks of international anti-coal movement

Europe Beyond Coal launched officially today. An alliance of organisations from 28 countries, it brings together experts and campaigners to drive the transition to clean, renewable energy, all over Europe.

Coal is the dirtiest source of energy, emitting massive amounts of carbon and many other pollutants that endanger people's health. Yet it still dominates as a power supply in many European countries.

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: "Governments support coal in many different, often hidden ways – from lax pollution enforcement to subsidies and tax breaks. All of these can be challenged by improving the law – or enforcing it in court. The law is always most effective when used in partnership with others and we’ll be doing just that, working across countries to take Europe truly beyond coal."

Several governments have already announced they will phase out coal by 2030 - Italy and the UK have promised to do so by 2025.

Europe Beyond Coal aims to secure commitment across the rest of the EU to a comprehensive coal phaseout by 2030.

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, with up to 54 billion euros in the same one year period.

Europe Beyond Coal groups are urging all European countries dragging their feet on coal to stop backing coal utilities at home and in Brussels; to commit to coal phase-outs that ensure fair and equitable transition for impacted workers and coal dependent regions; and to apply their full weight behind a European-wide transition to a clean, renewable energy system.

Challenges to the EU as coal campaign launches

ClientEarth, along with five European experts from the Europe Beyond Coal coalition, have laid out five actions the European Commission must take to help transition away from coal.