Coal, the EU and E.ON

Publication - 19 October, 2008
E.ON is one of the largest utilities in Europe. Its total electricity generation capacity is approximately 56,000 MW. Other European utilities, such as Essent in the Netherlands, have recently decided to cancel their proposed coal-fired power plants and to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency instead. The Dutch utility Eneco previously stated it did not want to invest in coal-fired power plants and is “walking the talk”, with 40% of its investments going to renewables. E.ON, however, continues to invest in new coal-fired power plants.

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Executive summary: The urgency of the climate crisis necessitates swift action on the part of EU governments to reduce emissions. Climate scientists warn that, in order to avoid the worst effects of rising global temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015 and fall dramatically thereafter. The electricity sector in the EU accounts for 39% of total EU CO2 emissions, three quarters of which comes from coal. The sector will need to be significantly decarbonised in order to meet the 30% emission reduction goal by 2020. This means Europe has to stop building new coal-fired power plants. Greenpeace is calling on all European governments and utilities, including E.ON, to get serious about climate change and redirect their investments into sources of clean, renewable energy.

Num. pages: 2