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Portugal Abandons Coal

In more good news for the environment, yet another country announces the early end to coal power. The move was hailed by climate campaigners pushing for a quick phase-out of coal power, the most polluting fossil fuel.

One after another, European countries are successfully weaning themselves off coal energy this year. Back in April, both Austria and Sweden shut down their last coal-fired plant, with Sweden doing so two years ahead of schedule. Now Portugal is also saying goodbye to coal two years early, reports Climate Home News.

“Coal is now in terminal decline all across Europe,” says Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director of the Europe Beyond Coal campaign. Europe Beyond Coal, a U.K.-based environmental lobby group funded in part by the European Climate Foundation, was established in 2017 with the goal of helping phase out coal across Europe by 2030 at the latest.

Portuguese energy utility EDP announced the closure of its Sines coal power plant, bringing forward the shutdown from 2023 to 2021. In addition to Sines, the company is preparing to close one more plant and convert another unit in Spain, EDP said in a statement.

“Portugal had already accelerated its coal phase-out of coal from 2030 to 2023. The fact that it is being brought forward yet again to 2021 shows just how fast a country can clean up its energy system when it commits to clean energy and climate action,” said Kathrin Gutmann.

In further good news, another 6 countries are expected to end coal by 2025: France (2022), Slovakia (2023), UK (2024), Ireland and Italy in 2025.

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