Proud of how UK is leading the way in de-carbonising the world - Duncan Crow
I am proud of my party’s record on the environment and climate change. Our government is leading the world by example, with our reduction in CO2 emissions.
We have now gone a step further and brought forward by one year to 1 October 2024, as to when we will no longer use coal to generate electricity.
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This move is part of ambitious UK government commitments to transition away from fossil fuels and decarbonise the power sector in order to eliminate contributions to climate change by 2050.
This highlights the UK’s leadership to go further and faster in driving down emissions and to lead by example in tackling climate change ahead of hosting the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit in Glasgow this November. I welcome that the UK is similarly calling on all nations to accelerate the phase out of coal power. Sadly, the reality is that many large countries, most notably China, continue to open up coal-fired power stations at an alarming rate.
Coal is one of the most carbon intensive fossil fuels and responsible for harmful air pollution. By eliminating its use in electricity generation, the UK can make sure we play a critical role in limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees which is a key aim of our upcoming COP26 presidency.
The UK has made huge progress in reducing the use of coal across the power sector, with coal accounting for only 1.8% of our electricity mix in 2020, compared with 40% almost a decade ago. That is a huge turnaround and a record we can be proud of.
In summer last year the UK went 5,000 hours without coal-fired electricity and earlier this year we broke a new wind power record, with just over a third of the country’s energy coming from wind. The UK’s net zero future will be powered by renewables, and it is this technology that will drive the green industrial revolution and create new jobs. We already have a large offshore wind farm off the Sussex coast and that is set to be expanded to provide more renewable energy.