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Coal plants 'must capture carbon'

Any new coal-burning power plants must have carbon capture and storage technology facilities from the start of operations or CO2 reduction targets will be almost impossible to meet, the Environment Agency (EA) has claimed.

Plans, such as E.On's proposal to build two new 800mW plants at Kingsnorth in Kent, should not be approved unless they have carbon capture and storage (CCS) fitted from the beginning, said EA chair Lord Chris Smith.

He said: "Building a new generation of coal fired power stations without capturing the carbon emissions would lock the UK into using high carbon technology for decades to come - this is not an environmentally sustainable way of generating power given the challenges we face with climate change."

CCS could reduce coal plant's carbon emissions by up to 90 per cent, according to the MPs in the Environmental Audit Committee.

Last month the committee called for all existing coal plants to be set a deadline for fitting CCS.

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