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Killer Coal Facts 

• 50 million tonnes of CO2 will be emitted each year if the seven proposed new coal plants are built.

• Coal-fired power generation is dinosaur technology. Even today, Britain’s inefficient centralised coal plants waste over two-thirds of the energy they generate.1 

• If Britain is to cut its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, the seven planned new coal plants alone will wipe out half of our ‘carbon budget’.2

• Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the prototype practice of capturing CO2 and storing it underground to avoid it entering the atmosphere. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), states that the UK will not see commercial deployment of CCS until the 2020.

• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s claim that CCS will only be realistically deployed around the world in the second half of the century.3 At present no coal plant anywhere in the world has carbon capture technology.

• None of the UK’s proposed new coal plants have concrete plans to prepare for CCS beyond setting aside land.

• Seventy per cent (and rising) of coal burnt in the UK is imported. The biggest source of imported coal is Russia.4 

• The Renewable Energy Association (which includes the mainstream UK
utilities) states that 49% of UK electricity could come from renewables by 2020 with the right support.

• According to the most recent opinion polls on fuel options, the public favours efficiency and renewables over the use of fossil fuels, and is unsure about nuclear power.5

• If built, the new coal power station at Kingsnorth in Kent will emit more than 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. That's more than the entire emissions of Ghana (6) and more in fact than all of the 30 smallest emitting countries in the world.7    


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1. Greenpeace UK
2. Greenpeace UK
3. IPCC, report on carbon capture and storage
4. BERR, Energy Markets Outlook
5. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2007), Public Opinion on Electricity Options
6. World Development Movement
7. Greenpeace UK