In a win for the planet, Austria has officially shut down its last coal-fired power plant as part of a broader plan to end the use of fossil fuels for energy production by 2030. The plant stopped operating on Friday, after providing heat and electricity for the nearby city of Graz for 34 years.
Austria, an Alpine nation with no significant fossil fuel reserves of its own, still has more than a dozen power plants burning gas and oil, but the government aims to shut off the gas-fired plants by the end of the decade, after which the country will generate all of its energy from renewable sources.
Among other countries in the European Union, Austria is the eighth to end the burning of coal, which is considered the most heavily polluting fossil fuel and a major source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions stoking climate change.
And Europe is not the only one witnessing the end of the dirty fossil fuel, with coal generation in the United States also seeing a collapse, slowly but steadily paving the way for renewables to take over.