Practices

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Solving the coal puzzle. Lessons from four years of coal phase-out policy in Europe

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With 15 countries that announced to phase out coal burning since 2015, this guide reflects back on a wealth of policy experience gained in the last four years.

 

With the feedback of 20 experts across 10 countries, nine qualities that are needed for a successful coal phase-out were identified. The interviews from the experts allowed to highlight whether there were lessons to share and adding the nine qualities, the authors created a list of “dos and dont’s”.

 

The nine qualities are:

  • Ambitious: plans need a phase-out date and pathway consistent with 1.5 degrees
  • Legislated: plans should be written into laws
  • Just: no one is left behind
  • Clean: wind and solar explicitly replace coal
  • Direct: avoids a bridge into fossil gas or unsustainable biomass
  • Reliable: keeps the lights on
  • Economic: coal should pay a carbon price
  • Healthy: closes dirtiest plants first
  • Smart: avoids pay-off for closure

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