Europe's dark cloud: how coal-burning countries make their neighbours sick

Lung-penetrating dust from coal-fired power plants in the European Union claims some 23,000 lives a year and racks up tens of billions of euros in health costs, an NGO report said. Even as the bloc shifts towards renewable sources like wind and Sun energy, coal still accounted for 18 per cent of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 and a quarter of its electricity mix in 2015, said the analysis. Emissions from 257 power plants for which data was available were associated with 22,900 premature deaths in 2013, said the report entitled "Europe's dark cloud: How coal-burning countries make their neighbours sick". There are a total of 280 coal-fired plants. The study was compiled by researchers from four green energy lobby groups: the Health and Environment Alliance, the WWF, Climate Action Network Europe and Sandbag. In addition to deaths, the report blamed coal plant pollution for nearly 12,000 new cases of chronic bronchitis and more than half-a-million asthma attacks in children in the EU in 2013.