Ireland is to follow 26 other countries worldwide in joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a global initiative which brings together a wide range of governments, businesses, and organisations that are united in taking action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD, speaking in Toronto in recent days. Launched jointly by Canada and the UK in November 2017, the Alliance unites a wide range of states, sub-national authorities and businesses behind the objective of rapidly phasing out coal power in a sustainable and economically inclusive manner.
The commitment in Ireland's National Development Plan 2018-2027 to the conversion of Moneypoint Power Station to end the burning of coal by 2025 marks the end of the role of coal in Irish power generation and aligns Irish policy firmly with the objectives of the Alliance.
In response to the global momentum of the Paris Agreement and in recognition of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from coal, the Powering Past Coal alliance was launched by Canada and the UK in November 2017 in the margins of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23). Alliance members aim to help achieve the phase-out of traditional coal power through different means. Government partners commit to phasing out existing traditional coal power and placing a moratorium on any new traditional coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage, within their jurisdictions.
Moneypoint Power Station, owned and operated by ESB, is Ireland's only coal burning power station and at almost 900MW, is the largest power station on the system. Moneypoint is a large emitter of carbon dioxide, and its emissions are accounted for within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which will over the period to 2050 reduce all of carbon emissions in the above sectors to zero. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 commits to the conversion of Moneypoint to end the burning of coal by 2025. This builds on commitments in the Government White Paper on Energy Policy and the Programme for Partnership Government to identify suitable low-carbon technology for Moneypoint.