Others in the 28-state bloc are phasing out coal. Portugal is aiming for a 2020 end date, the UK and Austria 2025, and Finland at some point next decade.
Scientists estimate more than 80% of coal reserves worldwide need to stay unburned to hold global warming to 2C, the internationally agreed upper limit.
Yet with both fuel and EU carbon prices low, coal retains a significant share of the energy mix. In Germany, the EU’s largest economy, it supplies more than 40% of electricity. Poland generates 85% from coal.
Flisowska added: “To avoid worst impacts of climate change, the EU has to ensure that carbon emissions from its coal power plants are cut down much faster than their current rate.”