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Ahead of the General Election, UK energy firms today wrote to the party leaders, recommending they commit to the Carbon Price Support after 2021 in their election manifestos. This £18 per tonne floor on the cost of CO2 emitted from power stations has been instrumental in driving the coal phaseout.

The UK Carbon Price Support has been a crucial driver of the huge progress made in power sector decarbonisation. In 2016, emissions from coal plants fell 58% and thanks to Carbon Price Support. The UK’s remaining unabated coal power stations are well on-course to be closed by 2025.

UK opencast coal

The government has committed to maintain the Carbon Price Support to 2021. A commitment to extend the floor price beyond this date will provide investors confidence in making low-carbon investments.

In addition, the letter calls on the new government to publish an emissions reduction plan soon after the General Election to ensure the UK can meet its legal carbon reduction targets for 2028-2032, under the Climate Change Act.

Signatories to the letter include SSE, the UK’s second-largest energy supplier; Drax, the UK’s largest power station; and climate policy thinktank Sandbag.

Phil MacDonald, analyst at climate policy thinktank Sandbag, commented:

The UK’s climate policy has recently been very successful at reducing power sector emissions. Last year, nearly every UK coal power plant has seen its generation collapse, alongside a continual growth in offshore wind and solar, as well as falling demand for electricity.

The next government must continue with this climate and air pollution success story, and use the carbon price floor to phase out coal entirely.

 

Read the letter to party leaders here.

More information on the coal phaseout in Sandbag’s briefing: Phasing out coal by 2023