World Coal Association welcomes China's continued commitment to low emissions coal technology

LONDON – The World Coal Association has welcomed today’s announcement by China of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in preparation for the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris later this year.

“China has put low emissions coal technology at the centre of its commitment to building a low carbon energy system,” said World Coal Association Chief Executive Benjamin Sporton.

“China’s INDC shows that coal will remain a crucial part of their energy mix for decades to come. The INDC released today represents a real commitment by China to use modern high efficiency low emission coal-fired power generation and develop carbon capture and storage,” Mr Sporton said.

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) New Policies Scenario Chinese electricity generation from coal will be 45% higher in 2040 than it is now – despite its total share of the energy mix reducing from 76% now to 52% in 2040.

“Coal has powered the huge advances we have seen in China’s economy in the past few decades lifting 600 million people out of poverty and connecting 99% of its population to the electricity grid. China is now a leading player in the deployment of low emission coal technology. Their INDC announcement today shows that economies can continue grow with the benefits of affordable, reliable coal while taking ambitious action on reducing carbon emissions,” Mr Sporton said.

Modern high efficiency low emission supercritical and ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants emit up to 35% less than CO2 than older subcritical plants. They also have significantly reduced emissions of SOx, NOx and particulate matter which means they have significant air quality benefits. High efficiency low emission coal plants are also an important first step on the pathway to carbon capture and storage.

Mr Sporton said: “The announcement today means the climate talks in Paris later this year must recognise that low emission coal technologies will be a crucial to achieving the world’s climate objectives. Without action on high efficiency low emission and carbon capture and storage technology it will be impossible to achieve the 2 degree target.”

“China’s growing economy means demand for energy will continue to grow and it is clear from the announcement today that all energy sources will play their part,” Mr Sporton said.

“Recent market fluctuations have led some commentators to claim that China is moving away from coal. China’s announcement today shows that is patently not true. China has made serious commitments to low emission coal technology because coal will continue to be the backbone of its energy mix for decades to come.”

About the World Coal Association

The World Coal Association is a global industry association formed of major international coal producers and stakeholders. The WCA works to demonstrate and gain acceptance for the fundamental role coal plays in achieving a sustainable and lower emissions energy future. Membership is open to companies and not-for-profit organisations with a stake in the future of coal from anywhere in the world, with member companies represented at Chief Executive or Chairman level. WCA is the global network for the coal industry.