Stop Climate Chaos

'No New Coal without CCS' Says Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has announced the Government’s long-awaited response to its ‘clean coal’ consultation. In it he announced that ‘no new coal-fired power stations would be built without carbon capture and storage (CCS)’, and that all such stations should have full CCS by 2025.

Stop Climate Chaos is calling for an end to all dirty coal-fired power stations. We think any planned new coal fired power station must have full CCS from now on, not 2025. However this announcement is a step in the right direction.

In reaction SCC Director Ashok Sinha said:

The UK must realise its huge potential to generate renewable energy. We must also maximise the energy efficiency of our economy. But it also makes sense for us to demonstrate that CCS will work effectively and affordably, as a condition for allowing any new coal-fired power stations to be considered. It is welcome that Ed Miliband has recognised the need for this conditionality.

That said, as coalition members have pointed out, there are important flaws in Ed Miliband’s announcement which must be corrected before the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit if the UK is to retain its credibility going into the negotiations. WDM in particular challenged Ed Miliband's announcement via Twitter.

There are two main issues with the policy that need correcting before Copenhagen. First: that new coal-fired power stations need only capture a minority of their emissions. Second: the announcement failed to show how full capture by 2025 would be guaranteed. As a result there is a real risk that if CCS fails the UK would be left with a legacy of dirty coal-fired stations. This would be a disaster, virtually eliminating the UK’s ability to meet our climate change obligations.

Consequently members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition are calling for an increasingly tough ‘emissions performance standard’ to be urgently brought into law. This will be a safety net to ensure all fossil-fuel power stations (coal or otherwise) produce massively less carbon dioxide than today’s generation of power stations, in case CCS fails to deliver, leading to full decarbonisation of the power sector by 2030 as called for by the Government’s own expert committee.

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