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30 November 2017

Europe's war on coal: a gain for gas?

The list of European countries setting a target date for the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation grows longer by the month. On 10 November, Italy – one of the big four European Union economies – joined the fray. Less than a week later 11 European countries confirmed or reaffirmed their intentions as the UK and Canada led the formation of the Powering Past Coal Alliance at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn. Meanwhile, coal power is ensnared in a tightening web of regulations to mitigate carbon emissions and improve the quality of the air people breathe, and much-needed reforms to the EU emissions trading system have just been agreed. This may look like good news for gas – but it is still too early to write the obituary for coal. In Europe’s war on coal, the big battles are yet to come. 

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