Global shift away from coal ignored by lonely Turkey

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As countries and investors worldwide pull the plug on coal, Turkey is doing its best to keep the most polluting fossil fuel in business. With plans to build 80 new coal power plants by 2023, and a UN climate pledge centred on a 116 per cent emissions increase, Turkey is turning a blind eye to the toll coal is already taking on the health of its citizens and communities. As G20 president, Turkey will host a meeting next month to discuss the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies; it can make a start by eliminating the up to US$1.6 billion it currently funnels into the coal industry, and investing instead in its huge solar and wind potential. With the coal industry crumbling, renewables booming and and even the most pro-coal countries realising reducing dirty energy is a positive move for health, economies and the climate, getting out of coal is a no brainer. Turkey would join a host of nations, including Germany, the US and the UK which have all signalled their intentions to shift out of this dirtiest of energy sources.

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Global oil, gas and coal subsidies (OECD/Interfax)

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