Austria has shut down its last coal-fired plant in Mellach (Styria) thereby ending its energy generation from coal.
This makes Austria the eighth coal-free EU member state.
The Mellach 246 MW coal plant was commissioned in 1986 and provided the city of Graz with heat. It has closed after this winter’s heating season.
“The end of coal-fired power generation is a historic day for climate protection in Austria. The people in our country can breathe a sigh of relief. We will all benefit from cleaner air and better health. Now is the time to push ahead with the transition to a 100% renewable-based energy system,” said Johannes Wahlmüller, climate and energy spokesperson for GLOBAL 2000, the Austrian environmental protection organisation, which for years has campaigned for moving Austria beyond coal.
Joanna Flisowska, Senior Coal Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “This is great news, Austria is yet another EU member-state to become coal-free. But this is also a wake-up call if anyone still needs one. Seven EU member states are yet to plot a path to phasing out coal by 2030.
“It’s now make-or-break time not just for preventing the climate crisis but also for helping coal workers and regions dependent on coal to make the transition that is both effective and just so that no one is left behind.”