Posturing for the upcoming COP-21 talks in Paris, the British government announced plans to close all coal-fired power plants by 2025 and restrict their use by 2023. “It cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the U.K. to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations,” said Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd. “Let me be clear, this is not the future. We need to build a new energy infrastructure, fit for the 21st century.”
Coal still accounts for 30% of U.K.’s electricity, Rudd said. “If we take this step, we will be one of the first developed countries to deliver on a commitment to take coal off the system,” Rudd said. The idea is to replace the coal-fired plants with gas-fired plants, increase renewables over the next five years, and build new nuclear power stations in the longer term.