Back to business. While we were otherwise engaged, the EC delayed implementation of the new round of combustion emissions regulations that would otherwise have precipitated early closure of many coal-fired power plants, possibly including the mighty Drax in Yorkshire, Europe’s largest.
This new round is targeting NOx - not itself a major-league greenhouse gas: but forcing early closure of such plants would tend to reduce CO2 as a side-effect. (The longstanding Large Combustion Plants Directive, which targets SO2, is not affected: owners of coal plants have already decided whether they will be complying with this - Drax will - or closing after a set number of operating hours.)
As we’ve said before, economic considerations generally trump environmental when the chips are down – GDP beats GHG. The much-trumpeted Con-Lib enthusiasm for the ‘Green Economy’ will need to be tempered by this very basic consideration – what can we afford ?