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Announcement of closure of Austrian coal plant

Following the launch of a study on the health impacts of Austrian coal-fired power plants by environmental NGO Global2000 and HEAL, the closure of one of Austria’s three plants was announced.

The study “Effects of coal power generation in Austria” (Auswirkungen der Kohleverbrennung in Österreich: Gesundheit.Klima.Auswege) was recently presented at a press conference in Vienna. Julia Huscher, HEAL’s Senior Coal and Health Officer, participated in the launch together with Johannes Wahlmüller of GLOBAL2000 and Hanns Mooshammer of the Austrian Doctors for the Environment (Ärztinnen und Ärzte für eine gesunde Umwelt), who presented the findings for Austria. It is estimated that the three remaining coal power plants in Austria cause health costs of 194 million EUR per year.

Alongside the health concerns arising from particulate matter emissions and other classic air pollutants released from the three remaining coal power plants in Austria, a special focus of the study are the mercury emissions from coal combustion and the worrying levels of mercury contamination of rivers and fish in Austria.

Shortly after the release of the study, Austrian utility Verbund, who owns two of the three coal power plants, announced that they would close down the Dürnrohr plant, but that they would continue operating the plant at Mellach. The closure was justified with economic reasons.

The HEAL/GLOBAL2000 study is available here in German

Originally posted on 26 June 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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