German lignite dominates list of most polluting European power plants
German lignite plants make up seven out of 10 of Europe’s biggest polluters, according to an analysis of European ETS data by climate NGO Sandbag. “That is because lignite power plants, especially in Germany, continue to run nearly 24 hours a day x 7 days a week.”
On a country-by-country basis, Germany remained Europe’s biggest coal polluter by far last year, according to Sandbag. “The biggest two coal polluters saw the smallest reductions: German coal power plant emissions fell only 4 percent, and Poland emission fell by only 1 percent. Even since 2010, the movements have been small: minus 5 percent for Germany and minus 7 percent for Poland.”
At the end of last week, the owner of one of Germany’s largest lignite-mining operations, LEAG, scrapped plans to expand one of its mines, a step some observers called the “beginning of the end” for lignite.
Read the Sandbag analysis in English here.
Find background in the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?