EU mining regions say “clean coal” can ease transition, NGOs reject claim

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Europe’s mining regions call for EU support for “clean coal” technologies to ease their transition, but climate activists warned the coal exit must not be delayed by promoting “mythical” methods. “The use of clean coal technologies and the material use of coal can also contribute to the successful restructuring of coal regions in Europe and should therefore continue to be supported by the EU,” read a declaration signed by representatives of 14 coal regions at the annual meeting of the EU platform for coal regions in transition in the Eastern German town of Görlitz, according to Clean Energy Wire.

Climate action NGO alliance Europe Beyond Coal warned the EU Coal Platform “is at risk of undermining the ‘transition’ in its name, if incumbent industry interests vested in delaying the exit from coal are allowed to hold back progress by proposing false coal-based solutions”. In an open letter, the organisation said that “some regions, bowing to industry pressure for business as usual, continue to resist the structural shift away from coal by promoting mythical ‘clean coal’ technologies as cover for continued coal production. This is not only futile, it will lock regions into many more years of polluting and uneconomical coal. The only just transition is a total transition away from coal.”

At the end of 2018, 185,000 people were employed in coal production and a further 52,000 in coal-fired power generation throughout Europe, the platform declaration said.

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