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Editorial comment

At the time of writing, the UK is in the grip of election fever. The traditionally dominant Labour/Conservative duopoly has been rocked by an unexpectedly strong showing from the Liberal Democrats, long the third party of British politics, in the UK’s first televised prime ministerial debates. This leaves the prospect of a clear winner in the election in doubt.

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By the time this reaches your desk, the outcome of the election will be known. But it’s worth taking a moment to take a look at the policies of the three major parties with regards to energy, and more specifically clean coal.

The Conservatives and Labour are both generally supportive of clean coal, promising to build four new CCS-equipped plants. Both parties also include plans for a levy to fund such initiatives, although details are currently sketchy.

Of concern, however, is the policy of the newly resurgent Liberal Democrats. The party rules out the development of new coal-fired power plants (as well as new nuclear) in favour of renewables such as wind and wave power. This is naïve and, if implemented, could have a serious impact on domestic and industrial consumers. It would also be a blow for the global development of CCS, a field in which the UK should play a leading role.

Time will tell what route the UK takes – and World Coal will be there to cover it with our regular contributor, Tony Lodge of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Clean Coal Technology, continuing to report on the latest developments from Westminster. The June issue will also include a spotlight feature on clean coal technology. And for up-to-date industry news and comment, don’t forget to visit our website: