28 September 2021

Romania commits to exiting coal by 2032 at the latest

BUCHAREST, 28 SEPTEMBER 2021 – The Romanian government has committed the country to phasing-out hard coal and lignite power production by 2032 in its National Resilience and Recovery Plan endorsed yesterday by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. This plan sees coal capacity cut by more than three quarters by 2025. According to the Europe Beyond Coal campaign, this means that a Paris climate agreement-aligned pre-2030 coal exit is now firmly within reach for Romania. 

“Romania is the 19th country in Europe to announce it will phase-out coal, and if the experience of countries like Portugal and Greece tell us anything, it’s that once the commitment to exit coal has been made, the actual phase-out comes far faster than first planned,” said Kathrin Gutmann, Europe Beyond Coal campaign director. “Governments of countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany should take note: we’re in the endgame for coal across Europe, and the faster, smoother, and sooner we defossilise our power sectors, the greater the benefit for every European citizen.” 

This also means that Romania joins Germany and Montenegro as the only European countries with coal phase-outs that are incompatible with the UN Paris climate agreement [1]. 

“This plan sets a clear end date for coal. But when you factor in rising emission prices, the economic collapse of coal power producers in Romania, and the country’s excellent renewable energy potential, we’re in no doubt that the final closures will come before 2030,” said Marian Mândru, renewable energy campaigner at Greenpeace Romania. “The government now needs to move quickly to pass a decarbonisation law, formulate plans for the decommissioning of Romania’s coal plants and mines, and drive forward the rollout of solar and wind without creating more stranded assets in the form of fossil gas.”

“Romania’s National Resilience and Recovery Plan makes it clear that there is no place for coal in a decarbonised energy mix and lays the vital foundations for a just transition,” said Dan Dobre, Just transition campaigner at Bankwatch Romania. “With only 810 MW of coal planned to remain in the system between 2026 and 2032, we’re confident that Romania will very quickly discover the massive benefits a clean, renewable energy-based economy brings with it, and will redouble its effort to exit coal this decade.” 

Three European countries have already exited coal. Seven have committed to do so by 2025 and a further six by 2030. Hungary, Denmark and Greece have all brought their coal phase-outs forward this year. Romania joins North Macedonia (2027), Spain (2030), and Montenegro (2035) in announcing a coal phase-out this year.

ENDS

Contacts:

Kathrin Gutmann, Campaign Director, Europe Beyond Coal (German, English)
[email protected], + 49 (0) 1577 836 3036

Marian Mândru, renewable energy campaigner for Greenpeace Romania<
[email protected], +40731346706

Dan Dobre, Coal Campaigner for Bankwatch Romania
[email protected] , +40 31 438 2489

Alastair Clewer, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185

Notes:

  1. Why Europe must phase-out coal by 2030 to respect the UN Paris climate  agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C: https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/coal-phase-out/
  2. European Commission press release: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/sv/ip_21_4876
  3. ANNEX to the Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision on the approval of the assessment of the recovery and resilience plan for Romania: https://mfe.gov.ro/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/f2211c7d8ea2e3d3ba5831dc0c68fc72.pdf
  4. The majority of Romania’s remaining coal fleet is owned by CE Oltenia, which plans to replace it with fossil gas: https://caneurope.org/subsidies-fossil-fuel-gorj-county/
  5. European countries already coal-free: Belgium (2016), Austria (2020), Sweden (2020)
  6. European countries with a coal phase-out by 2025: Portugal (end-2021), France (2022), UK (2024), Hungary (2025), Italy (2025), Ireland (2025), Greece (2025).
  7. European countries with a phase-out by 2030: North Macedonia (2027) Denmark (2028), Finland (mid-2029), Netherlands (end-2029), Slovakia (2030), Spain (2030).
  8. European countries with a phase-out after 2030: Germany (2038), Montenegro (2035), Romania (2032). 

About: 

Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner. www.beyond-coal.eu 

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