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Coal plant closures becoming the new normal for Europe?

coal plant closures

Creative Commons: 2012

The downward spiral for Europe’s coal industry continued this week, with Belgium becoming the latest country to rid itself of the dirty energy source.

With the closure of the country’s last coal-fired power station, Langerlo, on 30 March, the once coal-dependant Belgium is hot-on-the-heels of Scotland’s abandonment of coal, becoming the seventh EU nation to kick the dirty habit.

With a heavy nuclear dependency and proposals to converting Langerlo into a biomass-plant, the spotlight is now on the country to support its bustling renewables industry.

From China to the US, countries are increasingly moving to phase-out coal, leaving those clinging to it at a disadvantage both economically and politically.

Australia, for example, continues to pursue new mines at drastic cost to taxpayers, while Poland, Turkey and Japan look to burn even more coal, risking growing international condemnation, and facing years of dealing with the inevitable damage to their economy, health and communities.

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