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UK leaders pledge to end coal-fired power

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World Coal,

Ahead of the UK General Election in May, the leaders of the three main political parties have signed an agreement to end the use of coal at power plants without emissions capturing technology. Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Milliband, signed the pledge as part of The Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign.

The pledge states that: “climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is not just a threat to the environment, but also to our national and global security, to poverty eradication and economic prosperity.”

Climate campaigners welcomed the move, which comes ahead of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, where it is hoped a universal climate change will be agreed.

“This pledge marks a turning point in the collective effort to take Britain’s energy system out of the Victorian age and into the 21st century,” John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said in a statement. “For the first time all of the UK’s main political parties have committed to ending carbon pollution from coal plants, giving this country a better chance of tackling climate change.”

The leaders also agreed to seek a “fair, strong and legally-binding global climate deal which limits temperature rises to below 2°C” and to “accelerate the transition to a competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy”.

"It's very unusual to get a moment of unity in the midst of a general election, and it is generating lots of excitement,” Matthew Spencer of the think tank, Green Alliance, who brokered the agreement. “A non-partisan approach is the holy grail in the US. It is in our national interest to act and to ensure that others act with us."

Coal still accounted for 31% of the UK’s energy mix in 2014, according to energy analyst EnAppSys, down from 41% in 2013 on the back of strong competition from gas and renewables.

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