Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Finland Set to Become First Country in the World to Ban Coal

Popular
Finland Set to Become First Country in the World to Ban Coal

The Finnish government has announced plans to stop using coal, one of the the dirtiest fuels on the planet, by 2030.


"Finland is well positioned to be among the first countries in the world to enact a law to ban coal ... This will be my proposal," Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn told Reuters.

This is all part of Finland's ambitious target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050.

"Giving up coal is the only way to reach international climate goals," Rehn added.

According to The Independent, the "Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030 and Beyond" is the country's plan to phase out coal within 14 years. Finland aims to turn its energy production carbon-neutral by 2050 with plans to switch its traditional energy sources to biofuels and renewable energy.

The strategy will be presented to the Finnish parliament for approval in March.

Currently, Finland gets only 8 percent energy from coal, mostly imported from Russia. Renewable sources and nuclear make up 45 percent and 34 percent respectively.

Finland is not the only country trying to stamp out coal—other European countries as well as Canada have similar plans. The state of Oregon also wants to phase out the carbon-polluting fuel.

However, Finland's plan appears to be much more strict. According to ZME Science, "In countries such as France or the UK where coal will be phased out, there will still be some leeway that will allow the trading the coal for instance. With a ban in place, not only will be Finnish utilities be barred from producing energy from coal, it will also be illegal to import electricity that is made from it—that's an entirely radical approach, but one that has a lot of positive environmental implications."

"Basically, coal would disappear from the Finnish market," Peter Lund, a researcher at Aalto University, and chair of the energy program at the European Academies' Science Advisory Council, told New Scientist.

Of course, not everyone in Finland is happy with the plan.

"The discussion about prohibiting the use of coal under law is inexplicable," Jukka Leskelä, the managing director of Finnish Energy, told the Helsinki Times. "Such an effort would not succeed without offering substantial compensation [to energy producers]. I fail to understand how the central administration can spend so recklessly and be so unappreciative of the situation in the energy markets."

Transport and Communications Minister Anne Berner also told the Associated Press that the emission targets for the transport sector is "demanding."

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less