(Reuters) – Old coal-fired power plants in Europe must be closed by the end of 2023 if their owners are not prepared to fit equipment to filter out acidifying pollutants, European Union member countries agreed on Friday, two sources in the talks said.
All other power stations must start planning to cut out pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides that damage human health and soil and water quality.
But countries that are struggling to get the industry cleaned up can get a delay until June 30, 2020, under the informal deal on the Industrial Emissions Directive, the sources added.
European ambassadors in Brussels approved the deal, which was reached in informal talks with the European Parliament late on Wednesday. It must be formally approved by parliament in the coming weeks before becoming law, but the sources say that is almost certain.
Article by Pete Harrison; editing by Anthony Barker; appearing courtesy Reuters.
photo: Rennett Stowe