02 June 2022

Romania fast-forwards coal exit to 2030

BUCHAREST, 2 JUNE 2022 The Romanian government has published an emergency law for the phase out of coal by 2030. It is expected to be approved within a month. It constitutes a two year acceleration of the country’s original coal exit plan announced last September, and clears the way for Romania to exploit its enormous solar and wind energy potential.  

Romania has long been home to some of the dirtiest coal plants in Europe. Under a year ago we had no coal exit plan to speak of. Now we’re a matter of formalities away from becoming the seventeenth European country to have a 2030 coal phase out plan. It really goes to show that quitting coal takes on a momentum of its own once you get the ball rolling,” said Alexandru Mustață, coal campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal.

Romania follows Czechia and Slovenia [1] in making coal phase out commitments since the turn of the year. But despite Europe enduring its worst ever fossil fuel crisis and perilously volatile fossil gas markets, the Romanian government is still considering drilling for more fossil gas in the Black Sea.  

To follow up today’s momentous announcement with plans for more fossil gas would be a travesty. Fossil gas prices are exorbitant whether you have domestic supplies or not. That is the reality of the global market. Then there is the damage it does to the climate, and the fact that we’ll have to shut down any new fossil gas infrastructure almost as soon as it’s opened. But there is hope contained in this new law. Authorities are planning to purchase solar photovoltaic systems with minimum installed power of 3-5 kW for every coal miner that is laid off. It shows they recognise the importance of decentralised, community-based renewable energy production as part of our energy mix,” said Vlad Cătună, Campaigner, Greenpeace Romania. 

Today’s announcement is an important step in Romania’s energy transition. We have been campaigning for a well-managed coal phase out that is aligned with the goals of the UN Paris climate agreement for many years. This is a big success. Now more than ever, coal communities are relying on the government to ensure there are decent plans in place to smooth the transition away from coal to a fossil-free, renewable energy-based future. That means rapidly investing in retraining opportunities, job creation, and green infrastructure,” said Ioana Ciută, president of Bankwatch Romania.

ENDS

Contacts

Alastair Clewer, Senior Communications Manager, Europe Beyond Coal (English)
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185

Alexandru Mustață, Coal Campaigner, Europe Beyond Coal (English, Romanian)
[email protected]

Vlad Catuna, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Romania (English, Romanian)
[email protected]

Ioana Ciută, president of Bankwatch Romania (English, Romanian)
[email protected]

Notes

  1. Overview of European national coal phase outs: https://beyond-coal.eu/europes-coal-exit/
  2. Emergency law for the decarbonisation of Romania’s power sector: http://energie.gov.ro/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/OUG_masuri-decarbonizare-31.05.pdf
  3. Bankwatch report 2020 report: The Romanian Renewable Energy Sector: A Potential still Untapped: https://bankwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Romanian-renewable-energy-sector-bankwatch.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/

About 

Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to ensure a just transition to a fossil-free, fully renewables-based European energy sector. This means exiting coal entirely by 2030 at the latest, and fossil gas by 2035 in the power sector. We devote our time and resources to this independent campaign because we are committed to seeing a European energy system that protects people, nature and our global climate: www.beyond-coal.eu

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