The Italian government today announced its intention to phase-out domestic coal-fired power by 2025 when it formally adopts its national energy strategy next month.
The move would see Italy join a growing list of nations committed to ending reliance on carbon-intensive electricity plants over the next 10 to 15 years.
The proposal is set out in a government consultation document published today, which aims to ensure Italy delivers on its target of sourcing 27 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, Reuters reports.
The energy strategy is expected to be adopted on 10 November.
Italy’s biggest energy utility Enel has also said it will not invest in new coal-fired power plants, according to the news agency.
Italy follows France, the UK and Canada in signalling an end-date for domestic coal fired power generation. France has set a phase out date of 2022, while the UK government was the first country to set a date for ending the use of unabated coal, declaring its last coal plant wouldclose by 2025. Canada recently announced it would phase out unabated coal power by 2030.
The commitment from Italy means some coal plants in country that have operated for as little as 15 years would have to be retired, further fuelling concerns some coal power projects could be left as stranded assets.
Earlier this month UK and Canada challenged more governments around the world to bring an end to coal-fired power generation, announcing plans to jointly launch a new global alliance at next month’s COP 23 climate summit in Bonn aimed at speeding up the transition to cleaner sources of electricity.
The Netherlands has also recently announced plans to close its five remaining coal plants by 2030, while the global coal sector was also recently hit by reports suggesting China is planning to stop or delay work on 151 planned or under construction coal facilities.
Chris Littlecott, programme leader for fossil fuel transition at think tank E3G, welcomed the announcement from the Italian government.
“Italy’s positive commitment to phase out coal by 2025 demonstrates real international leadership as it completes its year holding the G7 Presidency,” he said in a statement. “Italy now joins its G7 peers in Canada, France and the UK in taking action to phase out coal power generation over the next decade. Together, they can lead a growing coalition of countries and regions that are now acting on coal.”