Romania: Coal phase-out plan by 2032 not good enough

, SEE Energy News

According to Bankwatch Romania, the country’s planned coal phase-out by 2032 is not enough for Romania to be able to reach its climate targets and to really contribute to reducing the effects of global heating. Bankwatch states that studies show that in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, EU countries must give up coal by 2030, the latest. The European Union has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) by at least 55 % by 2030, more than the initial target of 40 %. However, it is still not enough. Specialists show that globally GHGs should be reduced by at least 65 % by 2030 in order to reach zero net GHG emissions in 2050.

Hard coal represents only 2 % of Romania’s energy mix, the largest amount of emissions are attributed to lignite, which provides 17-20 % of electricity annually. In 2019, hard coal had emissions of 1.18 million tons of carbon dioxide, while those of lignite exceeded 12 million tons.

In addition, power plants which use hard coal have already been shut down for economic and environmental reasons. For example – TPP Mintia, which exceeds the limits for sulfur dioxide and particulate matter and cannot receive an integrated environmental permit, which is why Romania has been in the infringement procedure for four years.

According to Bankwatch, the decision and timetable for coal phase-out mentioned in the PNRR, as well as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions must also be reflected in the Territorial Plans for a fair transition, in order to be able to propose projects and measures to mitigate the social impact. It is also necessary to set the date for the removal of lignite so that the fair transition in Gorj and Dolj regions can be planned in a coherent way.