The Irish government approves that it will join the international group as it looks for vital ways to expunge coal and coal-products by 2025. Out of the few countries that have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, Ireland is set to be the latest country to have joined. It is important to know that the Alliance needs about 50 signatories to commit to putting a stop to high carbon power sources when the UN climate summit comes up next year, according to reports from Business Green.
The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a global initiative that tends to involve different nations, businesses, and organizations that are united in taking the right actions to curb climate change and enhance a clean environment by phasing out traditional coal power.
The UK and Canada expressed their interest to join other 25 nations and regional states in order to introduce a new global alliance which is aimed at removing coal-fired power and dissuading the world from the use of coal to make the world a conducive place to live in.
Ireland’s commitment in National Development plan 2018-2027 to the conversion of Moneypoint Power Station to close the burning of coal by 2025 marks the end of the role in Irish power generation; it also goes in line with the objectives of the Power Past Coal Alliance.
Moreover, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, have reported the move of the Irish government in a visit to Canada, which founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance last year together with the UK. On this visit, Naughten meets Catherine Mckenna, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in Toronto.
“I am very happy to make this known to my Canadian counterpart, Catherine Mckenna, in person here in Toronto that the Irish government is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Changing Moneypoint and ending the burning of coal through a commitment in Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan. As one of the biggest emitters of coal, the conversion is a big-step-forward towards achieving a long-term objective to reduce coal emissions to 80% by 2050 throughout the electricity generation, environment and transport sectors” said Naughten.
Furthermore, together with the Alliance at the global stage, Naughten also said, “Ireland is a showing its profound support to end the use of coal power to the international community. We are joining other nations and other members of the Alliance in order to encourage other nations, organizations, and businesses to foster the elimination of coal power.”
The Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine Mckenna said, the new coal phase-out strategy was “the best step to take in order to ensure a better future for generations to come, and we applaud Ireland in joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.”
It is necessary to also know that Ireland once voted to divest of public funds from fossil fuels due to the detrimental effects of coal power on the environment. But nevertheless, about 91% of Ireland’s energy is from fossil fuels in 2014, 85% of its energy was imported and the action of the recent government was slow on the transition away from fossil fuels.
Undeniably, Ireland has just one coal power plant left at Moneypoint in County Clare, but this is set to close by 2025. This indicates to every investor, regulator, and industries that nations who are slow in trying to prop up inefficient plans and infrastructures will be left behind.
The commitment which was passed on by the Irish government is a good step to take but the country still has a long way to go to be a ‘top-dog’ to have a sustainable energy future.
The move made by Ireland came in just a few weeks after the country unveiled a wide-range of market reforms related to energy and the National Development Plan that includes set-up plans to foster climate change policies arranged on a €22bn state investment plan to support the change from fossil fuels and products related to it.
Moreover, Ireland’s commitment to stop the use of coal power is a great example of how nations can build a safer and cleaner environment for its residents.
Additionally, in December 2015, the former Irish government was committed to identifying the best replacement for low-carbon technology across the country at Moneypoint, before Moneypoint comes to an end of its operating life by 2025.
The Irish ESB has been decreasing the consumption of coal at the facility in Co Clare since 2012 but it hasn’t made a declaration on an alternative energy source. However, it is expected that the alternative is natural gas, which is cleaner than coal.
Moneypoint is the only remaining coal-powered station that imports and burn about 2 million tons of coal each year as Colombia. It also remains one of the largest power stations with an output of over 900 megawatts, offering most of Ireland’s electricity needs.