World Coal Association urges G7 leaders to invest more in cleaner technologies
More investment in cleaner coal technology is needed to support developing and emerging economies meet development and climate objectives, the World Coal Association (WCA) said in response to the G7 decision to reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2100.
“Leaders of the G7 need to recognize that coal is playing a critical role in bringing affordable, reliable electricity to hundreds of millions of people in developing and emerging economies, particularly across Asia,” WCA Chief Executive Benjamin Sporton said in a statement.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global electricity from coal is expected to grow by around 33% to 2040. Demand for coal in Southeast Asia alone is expected to increase 4.8% a year through to 2035.
“Rather than wishing away fossil fuels, world leaders should be committing to investment in 21st century coal technology – high efficiency low emissions power generation and carbon capture, use and storage,” Sporton said.
“To support this, the World Coal Association has proposed a global Platform for Accelerating Coal Efficiency (PACE). PACE’s vision is to support deployment of the most efficient coal-fired power plant technology possible to enable developing and emerging economies to access the benefits of affordable, reliable electricity from coal while minimizing CO2 emissions.”
High efficiency low emission (HELE) coal technologies provide significant immediate CO2 reductions and are a key step on the pathway to carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). Raising the average efficiency of the global coal fleet from the current 33% to 40% would save 2 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions – equivalent to India’s annual CO2 emissions or running the Kyoto Protocol three times over.
“I urge G7 leaders to support an international climate treaty in Paris that provides policy parity for all low emission technologies. That means they should help ensure that the most advanced coal technologies are used now and provide clear support for the deployment of CCUS through climate financing mechanisms, especially the Green Climate Fund.”
“Only by treating development and climate objectives as integrated priorities will we achieve a successful agreement in Paris,” Sporton said.