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Unlikely Netherlands will close coal plants soon: Green Left leader
June 16, 2017 / 8:36 PM / 3 months ago

Unlikely Netherlands will close coal plants soon: Green Left leader

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of the Green Left party in the Netherlands said on Friday that he did not think the country’s coal-fired power plants would close by the end of the next governing period.

The Green Left, which made huge gains in March’s election in the Netherlands, had been in talks for a centrist coalition with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and two other parties until negotiations broke down in May.

They want to close coal-fired plants and channel extra funds into renewables. Rutte, whose center-right VVD party remained the largest party after the vote, has opened new coal-fired power plants.

“I think they don’t want it so I think it’s not going to happen,” Jesse Klaver told Reuters when asked about the chances of the coal-fired plants closing by the end of the next governing period.

Speaking on the sidelines of the German Greens’ party congress in Berlin, he said divisions over climate change were, along with differences of opinion on immigration policy, partly to blame for the collapse in coalition talks and he could not imagine returning to coalition negotiations.

The Netherlands came under intense criticism in 2015 when a review showed just 5.6 percent of its energy had come from renewable sources the previous year and coal use was at a record high after three major new coal plants were brought on line.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Alison Williams

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