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 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...