One year ago, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sierra Club formed a partnership with the goal of retiring one-third of the remaining 500 coal-fired plants in the U.S. by 2020 and replacing them with clean energy. As the Sierra Club announced today, 112 coal plants have announced plans for retirement and America is moving beyond coal towards a cleaner energy future.
“We are clearly witnessing the end of our dependency on coal and the move toward a cleaner energy future," said Mike Bloomberg, whose Bloomberg Philanthropies has contributed $50 million to the Beyond Coal Campaign. “Coal-fired power plants and the pollution they produce—including mercury—are the number one threat to our public health and the environment. This is an issue of the American people's public health versus a narrow special interest. And we will not stop until we have achieved our goal.”
According to the Clean Air Task Force, the removal of 112 coal-fired power plants translates into the prevention of around 2,166 deaths, 3,426 heart attacks, and 35,210 asthma attacks every year.
Largely due to the decrease in coal use, the U.S. has experienced the largest reduction in carbon pollution of any country, with C02 emissions falling by 7.7 percent, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.