The British Government has announced that it plans to shut down all of its coal-powered fire stations by 2025, with restrictions put on their use as early as 2023.
The UK's 15 remaining coal power stations currently account for 28 per cent of the nation's energy production. The country's Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, however, explains that "it cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations".
Instead, adds Rudd, the UK will stop using those power stations by 2025 and "build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century." It's not exactly clear how that will play out, though there are some existing plans: some nuclear power stations are already being phased out in favour of safer nuclear energy creation, and there's an ongoing commitment to sustainable energy, including wind, wave, hydro, and solar.
The announcement comes during the build up to the Paris climate talks. Placing the UK as one of the first developed countries to commit to taking coal power stations offline, it sends a clear, if symbolic, message of the nation's desire to cut emissions. That can't be said for all the world's countries, and it will be fascinating to see whether the differing views can cohere in France next month.
Image by Simon Grubb under Creative Commons licence