01:30 GMT +321 July 2018
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    The power plant Neurath run by coal from the brown coal open cast mine Garzweiler is pictured on October 24, 2014 in Rommerskirchen, western Germany

    Toxic Coal Dust From Power Plants Shortening Lives Across EU

    © AFP 2018 / PATRIK STOLLARZ
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    The negative impact of coal-burning industries transcends internal EU borders, harming people in neighboring countries, a new report by environmental watchdogs said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The collaborative "Dark Cloud" study by WWF Europe and three other EU-based climate pressure groups has for the first time shown how coal dust travels across borders, causing premature deaths and raising healthcare costs.

    "The cross-border impact of coal pollution, be it health or climate, shows why all citizens in Europe and beyond have a shared interest in putting an end to its use, irrespective of where the plant operates," the report reads.

    Poland, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Britain have been identified as Europe’s worst polluters, based on an analysis of the most recently-recorded data from 257 coal-fired power stations.

    Germany is also one of the five main victims of coal pollution coming from neighboring countries in terms of premature deaths attributed to toxic coal dust. The others are Italy, France, Greece, and Hungary.

    As of end 2015, the European Union received around a quarter of its electricity from 280 coal-burning power plants. The report estimates that closing all of them could prolong 22,900 lives annually.

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