EU coal subsidy phase-out 'completely inconsistent with Paris deal'

(The Guardian, 19 Dec 2018) Stay of execution for coal subsidies has been heavily criticised by climate analysts.

An EU deal to slowly phase out coal subsidies is “completely inconsistent” with the bloc’s Paris climate agreement commitments, analysts say.

Marathon negotiations ended early on Wednesday with a benchmark CO2 emissions standard of 550 grams per kWh for all European power plants by 2025. But coal-dependent Poland secured a loophole allowing countries another year to negotiate new “capacity mechanisms” that would be exempted from the deadline.

It could allow subsidies to keep unprofitable coal plants running until 2035, five years beyond a projected cut-off for meeting the Paris goals.

Bill Hare, the director of the Climate Analytics thinktank and a former Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author, told the Guardian: “Continued support for coal as just agreed by the EU is completely inconsistent with meeting the Paris agreement goals and in particular with limiting warming to 1.5C [above pre-industrial levels].”

“It appears to be a de facto rejection of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finding that coal needs to exit the power sector rapidly. In the EU this means by 2030.”

Greenpeace said the stay of execution for coal subsidies showed many EU governments were still not serious about climate action.

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The Guardian, 19 Dec 2018: EU coal subsidy phase-out 'completely inconsistent with Paris deal'