The Times reports today (paywall) that: “Britain will shut down all its coal-fired power stations by 2023, under plans being drawn up by ministers before a United Nations climate change conference in Paris next month.”
Commenting on reports that the UK plans to shut down all its coal-fired power stations by 2023, Professor Hugh Montgomery, Director of the Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London highlighted the health benefits of a move away from coal.
Professor Montgomery said: “As well as being the major fuel causing climate change, air pollution from coal-fired power stations causes nearly two thousand premature deaths in the UK each year, and its health impact in the developing world is even more significant,”he said. “Fortunately, as the recent Lancet Commission report  showed, non-polluting power sources are readily available and cheap to deploy, with additional massive savings in healthcare costs when one moves to renewables.
“So phasing out coal as soon as possible is obviously a good thing to do, and I would urge the government to stick to its guns in the face of the special pleading that is bound to materialise.
“In the run-up to the crucial UN climate summit in December, a UK coal phase-out will go along way to restoring people’s faith that this Government is as serious as it claims to be on finding a solution to climate change which is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.”
Energy secretary Amber Rudd is reported to be planning to announce the coal phase out before the start of the UN climate summit in Paris next month. Under the proposals, Britain’s ten coal-fired power stations would either have convert to alternative fuels such as woodchips, to fit carbon capture and storage equipment or close, said The Times.