Finland might become the first European country to stop using coal as an energy source. Last Thursday, its economy minister suggested during a parliamentary debate that the country embark on phasing out use of the resource by 2025.
“I think we could set a target for Finland phasing out coal use as the first country in Europe, for instance by 2025,” Economy Minister Jyri Haekaemies was quoted by Business Week from minutes of the debate.
The country will invest in renewable energy to replace coal, which it mainly imports from Russia and Poland, Business Week reported.
“All the imported energy which we can replace with domestic energy sources not only creates jobs, but also cuts emissions and improves our current account,” Haekaemies added.On average, Finland imports around 5 million tons of coal annually. That costs around 70 million to more than 300 million euros ($388 million), the report said.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, the burning of coal is a “leading cause of smog, acid rain, global warming, and air [toxins].” A typical coal plant produces approximately 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide from coal burning each year, the group says.
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