Bulgaria calls for EU help to phase out coal

(EurActiv, 16 Oct 2020) Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a “plan” to support the country coal phase-out, saying Bulgaria’s own capacity was insufficient to achieve the bloc’s 2030 climate goals.

The European Commission has proposed an EU-wide emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, while the European Parliament has recently called for a 60% cut.

A group of eleven western EU countries, including France and the Netherlands, have issued a joint statement before the summit in support of the 55% target.

But Borissov said that “the limit” of Bulgaria’s own capacity was 40% and made it clear that the country needed the Commission’s support to meet the common EU target. He did not elaborate on what form this assistance could take.

Coal power plants in Bulgaria accounted for 45.9% of total electricity generation in 2017. The country considers that its own coal reserves could fuel power generation for the next sixty years.

“We strongly support the fight against climate change, environmental protection, low-carbon emissions,” Borissov said at the Council doorstep.

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EurActiv, 16 Oct 2020: Bulgaria calls for EU help to phase out coal