Finland may finally be the first country to actually ditch coal for good. The Finnish government appears to be considering banning the burning of coal energy by 2030. This is in line with a new and climate strategy that is about to be fully detailed to the public.
Peter Lund of the Aalto University, chair of the European Academies' Science Advisory Council, said this may mean coal will disappear from the Finnish market. In fact, the groundwork for the ban may even be in place.
According to New Scientist, the use of coal has already been declining in Finland since 2011, with the country pointing toward more usage of renewable energy in 2012. This meant doubling the wind power capacity of Finland in 2013 and a €80 million influx into renewable power just this February.
Plus, the prices of energy in the country have been dropping since 2010, all except coal. As such, coal-fired power plants are being shut all over the country. Now coal just provides only eight percent of the country's total energy.
Despite favorable circumstances, Finland is set to become the first country to bring a law banning oil. This puts it ahead of other nations that are looking for ways to end their relationship with coal. UK, Austria, and the Netherlands have already announced plans to phase out coal within 10 to 15 years, and France's prime minister has already stated that the country will shut down its power plants by 2023.
Regardless, Lund said the approach of other countries has "more degrees of freedom." For instance, Canada will phase out traditional coal by 2030, but its road map allows provinces to use coal beyond this date provided they reduce emissions with carbon capture and storage.
Meanwhile, the U.S. state of Oregon is planning to write into state law a measure that will ban coal outright by 2035.
Finland has set its intent to do a similar stance, but it wouldn't be immediately set in stone. After all the energy and climate strategy will still be presented to the Finnish parliament in March for approval.
Regardless, these moves from countries such as Finland, France, and Canada are instances of showing global momentum away from coal.
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