Et Tu, EU?

The Eurpean Union plans 50 new coal fired plants in the next five yearsYou Too, European Union?

I’m never one to resist a clever headline (at least in my own mind) but what lies behind it doesn’t really seem that clever. Rather sad actually.

On the one hand, the European Union has released draft plans for cutting carbon emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Well, that sounds good – but on the other hand there are plans to build 50 new coal-fired power plants in the next five years. Apparently, even with carbon permits taken into account, coal is just to cheap to ignore.

Explain that one to your grand-kids.

European utilities talk of finding solutions to rising energy demands in “clean coal”. Clean coal technologies aren’t here yet, may never be, and certainly won’t be when these 50 plants come online.

Say NASA climate scientist James Hansen: 

Given our knowledge about what needs to be done to stabilize climate, this plan is like barging into a war without having a plan for how it should be conducted, even though information is available.

Now doesn’t that sound familiar?

Sources and Further Reading
New York Times

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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