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Minister Denis Naughten announces Ireland to join Powering Past Coal Alliance

Toronto - March 12, 2018

Speaking from Toronto the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD has announced that Ireland is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. 

The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a global initiative which brings together a wide range of governments, businesses, and organizations that are united in taking action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power. 

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.

Minister Naughten made the announcement following his meeting with Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna in Toronto. Minister Naughten is visiting Canada as part of the Government's St. Patrick's Day 2018 international programme promoting Ireland abroad. 

"I was really pleased to inform my Canadian counterpart Catherine McKenna in person here in Toronto that Ireland is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.  Converting Moneypoint and ending the burning of coal builds on a commitment in Ireland's National Mitigation Plan. As one of Ireland's biggest emitters, the conversion also represents another step towards the achievement of the long-term objective to reduce our CO2 emissions of at least 80% by 2050 across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors." 

The importance of the Alliance at a global level is significant added Minister Naughten. "Ireland is demonstrating our support for the transition away from coal power to the international community. We are joining with Canada, the UK, and the other members of the Alliance in encouraging others to accelerate the elimination of coal power."

Minister Catherine McKenna has warmly welcomed Ireland's decision to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance. "Phasing out traditional coal-fired electricity will help countries like Canada and Ireland become leaders in clean growth. This not only strengthens our economies, but it reduces carbon pollution and provides huge human health benefits. It's simply the right thing to do to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we applaud Ireland in joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance."

 

Twitter: @cathmckenna @denisnaughten @Dept-CCAE 

Photo attached shows Ministers Denis Naughten and Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna meeting in Toronto. 

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

Powering Past Coal 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. 

Alliance partners commit to:

  • share national policy experience and practice; 
  • promote best practice to support the phase-out of coal, including through financial and other forms transition support for affected industries and communities; and 
  • adopt further practical initiatives that support this transition, including developing clean-energy plans and targets. 

The Powering Past Coal Alliance declaration can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666736/Final_Declaration_PPCA_111217.pdf

 

Membership of Powering Past Coal Alliance:

Countries16. Luxembourg 30. Province of Ontario 44. Econet Group 
1. Angola 17. Marshall Islands 31. State of Oregon 45. EcoSmart 
2. Austria 18. Mexico 32. Province of Québec 46. EDF 
3. Belgium 19. Netherlands 33. City of Vancouver 47. Engie 
4. Canada 20. New Zealand 34. State of Washington 48. Kering 
5. Costa Rica 21. Niue 49. Green Science 
6. Denmark 22. Portugal Business & Other Organisations50. Iberdrola 
7. El Salvador 23. Sweden 35. Abraaj Group 51. Marks and Spencer 
8. Ethiopia 24. Switzerland 36. Alterra Power Corp 52. Natura Cosmetics 
9. Fiji 25. Tuvalu 37. ArcTern Ventures 53. Pacific Island Development Forum 
10. Finland 26. Vanuatu 38. Autodesk 54. Ørsted 
11. France 39. Avant Garde Innovations 55. Salesforce 
12. Great Britain States & Cities40. BT 56. Storebrand 
13. Italy 27. Provincia of Alberta 41. CCLA 57. Unilever 
14. Latvia 28. Province of British Columbia 42. Diageo 58. Virgin Group 
15. Liechtenstein29. State of California 43. DSM 

 

Moneypoint Power Station

Moneypoint Power Station, commissioned in the mid-1980s as a national response to the oil crisis of the late 1970s, is owned and operated by ESB. It is Ireland's only coal burning power station and, at almost 900MW, made up of three separate units of c.300MW each, is the largest power station on the system. The only other coal-fired power station on the island of Ireland is the 520MW Kilroot plant in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim. 

Moneypoint is currently operating under the Transitional National Plan allowed for as part of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and is currently fully compliant with the IED. From July 2020 onwards Moneypoint will operate in full compliance with the emission limit values detailed under the IED.  Compliance with unabated operation requirements and the implementation of the revised Best Available Techniques conclusions are environmental challenges to be faced by Moneypoint over the short to medium term. 

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. Moneypoint does not impact on Ireland's non-ETS 2020 carbon reduction targets.

Future of Moneypoint

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, which is owned and operated by ESB. 

The commitment to end the burning of coal at Moneypoint is also in line with the ESB strategy to 2030 to reduce its carbon intensity to below 200g/KWh, so there will be no coal or peat in the generation portfolio by 2030. In this regard, ESB is actively assessing lower-carbon generation options for Moneypoint



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