Austria closes the door on its final coal plant, with more countries to follow

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The last coal plant in Austria has officially closed. Verbund’s Mellach site has shut its doors, eliminating fossil fuel from electricity production. Austria is the second country in Europe to make this drastic change in energy sourcing.

“With Austria going coal-free today it becomes clear that the momentum to leave coal behind has not slowed, despite the significant health and economic challenges we’re facing,” said Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director for Europe Beyond Coal. “Austria is ending coal burning while supporting the uptake of renewable energy and the European Green New Deal. This is a great example of the path to healthier, cleaner, and more resilient societies.”

Mellach’s closure comes after years of campaigning by the Austrian NGO Global 2000. This campaign has been advocating for the country to put an end to the use of coal plant energy and instead focus on renewables. Thanks to this final closure, Austria is now the second country in Europe to put an end to coal use for electricity. The first country to do this is Belgium, who put an end to coal use in 2016.

Seven more countries are expected to follow suit by 2025 or sooner:

  • France – 2022
  • Sweden – 2022
  • Slovakia – 2023
  • Portugal – 2023
  • UK – 2024
  • Ireland – 2025
  • Italy – 2025

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