Skip to content

Surge in coal use scuttling climate change efforts

|
Pratch Rujivanarom, The Nation

A WORLDWIDE rebound in coal trading is disrupting efforts to mitigate global warming and prevent climate change.

Energy analysts expect coal consumption in Southeast Asia and India to grow, as demand for the cheapest fuel is driving rapid economic expansion and offering big profits to investors in the electricity sector.

Environmentalists across the world are watching this rebound in the coal industry with great concern because it runs counter to international efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by 2050 in order to stem the rise in global temperatures.

Environmentalists across the world are watching this rebound in the coal industry with great concern because it runs counter to international efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by 2050 in order to stem the rise in global temperatures.

“Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel and phasing it out is a key step in achieving the emissions reductions needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said Paola Yanguas Parra, policy analyst at Climate Analytics.

“Coal will still be our primary source of energy for the upcoming decades, despite renewable energy becoming the biggest competitor due to its rapid growth and cheaper cost. But I believe coal still plays an important role in ensuring the stability of the energy sector,” said Sacha Parneix, GE Power’s commercial general manager.

“There is no doubt that coal has a bad reputation for being a major pollutant and it is true that the improper use of coal will have serious environmental impacts, but right now we have more advanced technologies to mitigate these limitations and allow us to safely use coal.”

Parneix pointed out that GE’s ultra-supercritical combustion technology allows more electricity to be generated using smaller amounts of coal.

Full story