Call for bigger pollution cuts delivers blow to coal hopes
Wednesday 03 December 1997
The call for significantly larger reductions in sulphur emissions will come in a consultation paper by the Environment Agency, which could be published before Christmas. Officials at the agency, which operates independently from Whitehall, believe that the demand is a matter of urgency.
The current targets set by the Inspectorate of Pollution last year are for power stations to cut their sulphur emissions by 84 per cent by 2005, compared with pollution levels in 1991. However the huge increase in gas- fired electricity generation has already produced an unexpectedly large reduction in emissions.
The existing target says most of the drop in sulphur output would come from new gas power stations, while older coal stations would account for just a 6 per cent cut. Though the new targets have yet to be signed off, they are certain to demand a bigger contribution from coal stations.
The Agency has submitted its revised plans in evidence to the Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee, which will today continue its investigation into the plight of the coal industry.
The extra environmental obligations look set to further tip the balance against coal, which has been hit by a plunge in orders next year from the big generators. The new targets also demonstrate the Environment Agency's determination to block any moves by ministers to reduce the pressure on coal by relaxing pollution standards.
The agency believes generators and mining companies could meet the obligations without an even bigger shift towards gas generation, which has much lower sulphur emissions. The paper will suggest a range of measures, including burning high sulphur content coal in the most efficient power stations and adding lime to the generating process.
Separately yesterday it emerged that plans by RJB to create a huge opencast mine between Leeds and Wakefield will not be challenged by the Department of Transport and the Environment. The group wants to extract more than 2 million tonnes of coal from a 620-acre site, but has faced intense local opposition.
The department confirmed that it had decided not to call in the planning application for ministerial consideration, a move which would have delayed the process.
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 Chelsea victory parade: Chelsea mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
- 3 US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
- 4 Woman, 21, dies after taking contraceptive pill that 'caused fatal blood clot'
- 5 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...