Eurelectric needs to commit to a rapid and full transition away from existing coal

Energy transition

Eurelectric, the association of European electricity producers announced yesterday that it did not “intend to invest in new-build coal-fired power plants after 2020” and declared its support for achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

In reaction, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe stresses that this statement is merely a starting point that needs to lead to a comprehensive plan for a full phase out of existing coal plants.

Reacting to the announcement, Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said:

“The fact that the vast majority of European electricity producers admit that there is no future for coal is yet another proof that everyone now sees the writing on the wall and wants to be part of the ongoing green energy revolution. 

The statement is however not much more than stating the obvious, as building new coal power plants has been considered a fool’s errand for a long time now.

A truly future-oriented electricity companies who want to live up to the Paris Agreement and remain profitable in a longer term would need to commit to a full phase out of all existing coal power plants by 2030.”

According to a report released by Climate Analytics last month, the EU will need to phase out all of its coal plants by 2030, if it is to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goals [1].

CAN Europe stresses that Eurelectric’s commitment cannot leave out the existing and planned coal plants in Poland, Greece, the Western Balkans and Turkey. Moreover, in order to live up to the Paris Agreement objectives, as the first step Eurelectric needs to support ending subsidies for coal plants with an immediate effect and present a just action plan for coal plant closures.

After the Paris Climate Agreement, the EU needs to dramatically ramp up efforts to shut down all 280 coal power plants and swiftly move to 100% renewable energy. Every coal-fired power station switched off will bring great benefits for both the climate and human health.



Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director,, +32 473 170 887

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 494 525 738


[1] Climate Analytics, “A stress test for coal in Europe under the Paris Agreement”,—report

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.


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