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ClientEarth Communications

11th July 2019

Fossil fuels

Does Europe have a coal problem?

How much of Europe’s power is from coal?

Over 20% of Europe’s power comes from coal. To avoid dangerous global warming, Europe must move beyond coal by 2030. We can do it, but it needs real ambition and commitment. The reward will be cleaner, cheaper energy, new green jobs and a better future for our children.

Why is coal bad for the environment?

Coal is one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet. Mining for coal destroys people’s homes and turns homes for nature into bare earth. Toxic coal dust blows onto farmland and waterways when it’s transported, and storing ash puts our water supplies at risk of heavy metal contamination. Burning coal releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide causes climate change, and that means more floods and extreme weather, rising seas and nature loss.

Is coal dangerous for our health?

Coal is terrible for our health. From mining to transporting and burning, it releases mercury, arsenic, sulphur and other dangerous chemicals at every stage, poisoning people and the planet we depend on.

Does coal cause climate change?

Coal is a major cause of climate change, and emits more greenhouse gas emissions than any other fossil fuel. Coal power stations produce huge amounts of carbon – in one year, Belchatow in Poland emits four times as much as Ryanair’s entire fleet of planes. Belchatow is just one of more than 250 coal plants in Europe, and many more are planned.