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Government Of Germany Lays Out Plan To Phase Coal Out By 2038

Despite its reputation as a green country, Germany relies heavily on coal for its power needs

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Coal
Water vapor rises from the cooling towers of the Jaenschwalde lignite-fired power plant of Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG beside a wind turbine in Jaenschwalde, Germany, Jan. 24, 2019. VOA

A government-appointed commission laid out a plan Saturday for Germany to phase out coal use by 2038.

The commission — made up of politicians, climate experts, union representatives and industry figures from coal regions — developed the plan under mounting pressure on Europe’s top economy to step up efforts to combat climate change.

 

Coal, Germany
coal-fired Scherer Plant, one of the top carbon emitters in the U.S., is seen in Juliette, Georgia, June, 3, 2017. (VOA)

 

“This is a historic day,” the commission’s head, Ronald Pofalla, said after 20 hours of negotiations.

The recommendations, which involve at least $45.6 billion in aid to coal-mining states affected by the move, must be reviewed by the German government and 16 regional states.

Climate
A wind turbine overlooks the coal-fired power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. VOA

While some government officials lauded the report, energy provider RWE, which runs several coal-fired plants, said the 2038 cutoff date would be “way too early.”

Also Read: Australia Rejects U.N. Climate Report, Continues Using Coal

Despite its reputation as a green country, Germany relies heavily on coal for its power needs, partly because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear power plants by 2022 in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Coal accounted for more than 30 percent of Germany’s energy mix in 2018 — significantly higher than the figures in most other European countries. (VOA)

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World’s First Green Concrete Being Used in a Road Trial in Sydney

Projects like this geopolymer trial can result in new products that make a real difference in slashing carbon emissions

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World, Green, Concrete
Nine sensors have been positioned under the concrete to monitor. Pixabay

 In a world’s first, ‘green’ concrete” which is made using industrial waste from coal-fired power stations and steel manufacturing is being used in a road trial in Sydney.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales, Sydney and research and innovation hub called CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) would use results from the trial to create the first set of industry guidelines for “geopolymer” concrete.

Nine sensors have been positioned under the concrete to monitor and compare how the ‘geopolymer’ concrete performs.

“Projects like this geopolymer trial can result in new products that make a real difference in slashing carbon emissions.

World, Green, Concrete
CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) would use results. Pixabay

“Local governments are responsible for maintaining local roads, so if we can purchase more environmentally sustainable materials, we can fight climate change,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Made from fly ash and blast furnace slag, ‘geopolymer’ generates just 300 kgs of CO2 per tonne of cement, compared with the 900 km from traditional cement production — saving the equivalent of the electricity used by an average household every two weeks.

The low-CO2 concrete has the potential to put the 400 million cubic tonnes of globally documented waste from the coal and steel industries to good use.

UNSW Sydney researchers will monitor the road performance for up to five years.

Also Read- Australia’s State of Victory, The First in the Country to Leagalize Euthanasia for the Terminally Ill

“Research into geopolymer has been undertaken since the ’90s, but it’s only now that it’s starting to be commercialised,” said Professor Stephen Foster, Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW Sydney.

Concrete contributes 7 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions and in 2018, the world produced about 4.1 billion tonnes of cement which contributed about 3.5 billion tonnes of CO2.

“Low-CO2 concrete materials offer potential benefits in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional concrete,” said Professor Foster. (IANS)