Lithuania joins the battle against pollution from coal2018-02-06
Minister of Environment Kęstutis Navickas has submitted the application of Lithuania for joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. When joining the alliance, countries sign a declaration aimed at bringing together authorities and business and non-governmental organisations that are united in taking action to phase out coal power and accelerate clean growth and climate protection.
“Lithuania understands the effect of polluted air on human health and climate change, so it welcomes this alliance initiative from Canada and Great Britain,” says K. Navickas. “In pursuing membership in this alliance, we make a commitment to reduce the use of coal in the energy and industry sectors and households of our country”.
The foundation for the Poring Past Coal Alliance was laid at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017 where twenty countries signed a declaration obliging them to reduce the use of coal in a sustainable and economically inclusive way in cooperation with workers and communities. The alliance expects to have 50 members by the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to take place in December of this year in Katowice, Poland.
At present coal burning power plants generate almost 40% of the world’s electricity, making this mineral the largest cause of climate change. Recent studies have shown that more than 800,000 people die annually around the world from pollution while burning this resource, and huge economic losses are sustained. Countries which have reduce coal consumption have already witnessed significant positive changes in the spheres of environmental protection, economy and public health.
Although Lithuania has no large power plants burning coal, this resource is still used in industry to produce clinker and generate heat in households. In 2016, gross coal consumption in Lithuania amounted to 6 198 TJ (tera-joules). Of this amount, only 83 TJ were transformed in boiler houses for heat production, while the remaining major part was used in industry, and twice less was consumed by households and the services sector. For comparison, in 2016 gross consumption of natural gas was 77 104 TJ, and of firewood and wood waste amounted to 50 266 TJ.
Abandoning the use of coal, countries can achieve the key climate change mitigation target – keep the global temperature rise below 2°C. This target was set out in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to which Lithuania is a party. The phasing-out or significant reduction in the use of coal will contribute to the improvement of ambient air quality as well.
Public Relations Division