The United Kingdom will end its use of coal-fired power by October 2024, a year earlier than scheduled, as it pushes other countries toward greater climate ambition ahead of a global warming summit it’s hosting in November.
UK’s Energy and Climate Change Minister Ms Anne-Marie Trevelyan said “Coal powered the industrial revolution 200 years ago, but now is the time for radical action to completely eliminate this dirty fuel from our energy system. The move is a clear signal that the UK is leading the way on consigning coal power to the history books.”
According to the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, coal accounted for just 1.8% of the UK’s electricity mix last year, with roughly 43% coming from renewable sources such as wind and solar. The government plans to introduce legislation on the coal phase out at the earliest opportunity.
The U.K. has come a long way from the days when a thick blanket of coal-fueled smog fell over London in the 1950s. As recently as a decade ago, coal accounted for roughly 40% of the country’s power generation.