Better used as paperweight than fuel. Photo: © Shutterstock – losmandarinas

Lignite plants should be closed first

Europe accounts for half of global lignite production and combustion, with EU members Germany and Poland the worst offenders in terms of premature deaths from air pollution, according to a report from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). The EU accounted for more than 37 per cent of global lignite consumption overall, with the figure rising to just under 50 per cent when Russia, Turkey and the Balkan countries are included.

Germany is both the world’s biggest producer of lignite and the main consumer, with practically all of its lignite burned in domestic power plants. According to the report, 4350 premature deaths in Germany each year can be attributed to pollution from burning lignite and hard coal. In Poland, 5830 annual premature deaths are linked to the burning of lignite and hard coal combined.

HEAL argues that in order to protect both health and climate, European governments should commit to a full phase-out of coal by 2030.

Sources: Ends Europe Daily and HEAL News release, 10 December 2018
Link to HEAL report: https://www.env-health.org/coal-phase-out-for-health-overdue/

 

In this issue