Finland, setting the trends. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Finland may phase out the use of coal in energy production by 2025, the first European country to do so, Economy Minister Jyri Haekaemies said.
Government subsidies and taxes seek to boost the use of renewable energy and cut fossil fuel use by 2020, according to the national climate and energy strategy drawn up by the former government in 2008. The policy document will be revised and updated by the end of this year, Haekaemies said. …
Finland imports all of its coal, mainly from Russia and Poland. During the past 15 years, Finland has shipped in an average of 5 million metric tons of coal annually. Imports of the mineral cost 70 million to more than 300 million euros ($388 million), according to the Finnish Coal Info association’s website.
The really exciting news is that the United States will become the second country to phase out coal. That is, if all of the other countries merge into one giant super country and make a long-term commitment to using coal forever.
Seriously, though — cutting all coal use is easy when you use 5 million metric tons a year. Well, not easy. Easier.
The United States used 1.003 billion tons last year. So if it takes Finland 13 years to halt using 5 million, we should be able to eliminate our coal use within … 2,600 years.
Clearly good news for Americans in the year 4612.