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Coal decision is welcome

The Government’s decision to require all new coal power stations to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) by 2025 is a courageous step forward, Christian Aid says today.

‘This move represents a significant advance on previous policy on coal, and shows that Ed Miliband has won an important battle within government and Whitehall,’ says Christian Aid’s climate policy expert Dr Alison Doig.

‘However, the Government’s plan does not go far enough,’ she warns. ‘What about the three-quarters of emissions from the ‘demonstration’ power stations which will not be captured and stored? And what about the tens of millions of tones of carbon dioxide that will continue to be emitted by existing power stations every year?

‘Historically, coal is responsible for half of all global emissions. People in developing countries are already suffering worse floods, droughts, hurricanes, diseases and hunger as a result of global warming, and their situation will inevitably get worse. Tougher curbs on the destructive emissions of coal-fired power stations are urgently needed.’

Christian Aid also believes that CCS is as yet an unproven technology and there is a risk that it will fail to ‘clean up’ coal power stations’ dangerous emissions. ‘The world’s poorest people should not have to bear the risk of that failure and we need ministers to tell us what they intend to do if CCS does not work,’ adds Dr Doig.

‘The focus on CCS must not divert attention from the Government’s lack of action on renewable energy and energy efficiency, both of which are long-term, sustainable ways of ensuring people have the energy they need.’

Additionally, Christian Aid would like a clear indication of how these pilot projects, if successful, will lead to opportunities for technology transfer to developing countries such as India and China.

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For more information, pictures or interviews contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or 07545 501 749.

Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in 49 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.