Groups target Europe's coal companies over harmful emissions

November 20, 2018 - 4:27 am

BERLIN (AP) — Environmental groups say 10 utility companies are responsible for the majority of premature deaths caused by emissions from coal-fired power plants in Europe.

In a report published Tuesday, five campaign groups, including Greenpeace, blame the companies for 7,600 premature deaths and millions of work days lost across Europe in 2016.

The emissions from German utility company RWE are said to be responsible for the highest number of premature deaths, mostly from tiny particles known as PM2.5.

RWE said it abides by legal limits on emissions and continually tries to lower them.

Michael Barczok, a pulmonologist not involved with the report, said the harmful health effects from PM2.5s and the models used to calculate premature deaths are widely accepted.

He declined to confirm the exact numbers claimed in the report.

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