Brussels, June 20 - Neftegaz.RU. 8 of the EU's 28 countries have pledged to phase out coal for electricity production by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, EU climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said. The European Commission received the pledges as contributions to the bloc's efforts to deliver on the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Canete said that among the EU countries introducing or confirming such timelines, France intends to phase out coal by 2022 - before Italy and Ireland by 2025. Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Finland aim to do so by 2030.
Standing by Canete, commission vice president Maros Sefcovic called the pledges "quite a significant signal coming from quite an important number of member states." The commission added that Germany, the EU's most powerful economy and biggest polluter, has also indicated it will set "an end date" for coal-based electricity.
An EU official told AFP the remaining 20 countries, including coal-dependent Poland, had not submitted timelines for weaning themselves off fossil fuel.
Referring to coal plants, Canete said it is "pretty clear" that fossil fuels have no place in a carbon-neutral economy the commission hopes EU countries endorse for 2050.
EU sources said leaders would more likely support the goal at their summit in December rather than this week's meeting. "There are too many coal-fired power plants in eastern Europe that would have to be taken off the grid," an EU diplomat told AFP.