On the eve of a global climate summit, Britain’s evolution from fossil fuels to clean energy is on display. But experts question whether its commitment is sufficient, and whether it can persuade other nations to meet meaningful goals.
As Britain prepares to host a landmark climate summit in Glasgow this week, the milestones of its own evolution to a more climate-friendly economy are on vivid display along the railroad line from London to Scotland, reports the New York Times,
Near Gainsborough, a river town 150 miles north of the capital, one of Britain’s last coal-fired power plants still spews carbon dioxide and other gases into the air. Another 150 miles north, off the coast of the seaside port of Blyth, the slender blades of five turbines in an offshore wind farm turn lazily in the breeze.
The two plants, both owned by the French utility giant EDF, illustrate how far Britain has come. The coal station, restarted recently to cover a shortfall in electricity, is slated to be taken out of operation next year, while the company plans to install experimental floating turbines in the waters off Blyth.
“We’re talking about a huge transition,” said Paul Spence, the director of strategy and corporate affairs at EDF, referring to Britain’s goal of being a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. “A lot of things need to happen to keep the lights on.”
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