MPs back CO2 emissions standards for power stations

An influential committee of MPs called on the government to limit the amount of carbon dioxide that power stations can emit in a report published on Tuesday

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee says that the current enthusiasm for coal-fired generation threatens UK emissions reduction targets. The government should make it plain to generators that it will not allow coal-fired stations to operate unabated in the longer term.

It wants the government to commit to a date by which all power stations should meet an emissions standard set in terms of kilograms of CO2 per megawatt hour of electricity generated. This limit should equate to “capturing at least 90% of carbon emissions” from a coal station. Stations failing to meet this standard would face closure.

“The current momentum for new coal-fired plant is not taking adequate account of its environmental impact,” complain the MPs. “Replacing old coal-fired power stations with new ones… locks Britain into a high level of emissions for years to come.”

The Committee thinks that the price of carbon under the EU emissions trading scheme (EUETS) may not provide enough of an incentive for generators to fit carbon capture and storage (CCS) and argues that the threat of mandatory CCS, or an emissions standard, are essential to encourage operators to take up the technology.

"[The government] must tell the industry that carbon capture and storage will be required, and that coal-fired power stations will not be permitted to operate unabated,” said committee chairman Tim Yeo MP. “By setting a deadline for power stations to meet a certain emissions standard, the development and deployment of CCS will be given a much needed push in the right direction”

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Most-read articles


Principal Planner

Leeds is a fast growing city and the main driver of a city region with a £64.6 billion economy.

Officer 2 Environment Team x 2

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Environment Team Leader

If you want a role that offers variety and challenge, and to be a part of an organisation that has the sustainable management of natural resources at the core of our purpose, we would love to hear from you.

Installations Officer - Control of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH)

We are looking for two enthusiastic professionals to join our North West Hub Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulatory team as Installations Officers.

Installation Officer

If you’re part of the Environment Agency (EA), you’re part of the solution. Working with us means protecting and improving the environment for generations to come, tackling issues of national importance across a huge variety of disciplines.

Sustainable Development Programme Manager

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a driven and motivated individual to join a forward thinking and dynamic Directorate within Public Health Wales.