HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

OUR TAKE: Is There an End to Using Coal?

Reading a recent article in Newsfusion Energy News, it was really quite depressing to learn that the IEA expects coal demand to be stable for the next 4 years. Coal demand is falling in the US and EU, but is surging in SouthEast Asia, especially in India and China, already 2 of the top 3 emitters of the heat-trapping gas CO2. Both have large populations and fast-growing economies. Many of their coal plants are young, with long high-emission lifetimes ahead of them. The world can’t afford their future emissions; they’ll propel the world past the limit required to keep temperatures under the targets set in the Paris Agreement that are needed to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate heating.


Were politicians to act more responsibly, no more coal plants would be built and existing ones would be strictly regulated to minimize their emissions. In the absence of political will, however, extraordinary, supranational measures may be required. One approach would be a global tax on carbon emissions, which would fall on all fossil fuels, but most heavily on coal, the “dirtiest” fossil fuel. Another idea that has been floated is a border tax, imposed by countries that have invested in clean power sources on those countries which have not done so but want to export their cheaper “dirty” goods to countries that have. Both approaches are controversial, and both face high bars to becoming operational. However, the alternative is a hostile even deadly environment for the people of nearly all the world’s countries. It is so bad that it makes the politically difficult possible, no matter how unattractive. So while a coal-fouled future as predicted by the IEA is depressing, there is at least a glimmer of hope that apocalypse can be avoided.

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email

More Posts Like This


Sustainability and Solar Energy by City Tech Blogger Lina Zheng

Climate change is a major topic around the world especially with a rising environmental consciousness. According to NASA’s Global Climate Change Website, the definition of climate change is “climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and


Is Green Hydrogen the Energy of the Future? by City Tech blogger Jia Ling Lin Huang

The Industrial revolution of the 19th century helped many countries to grow economically and technologically, each having a major role in society. In that period, humans started to use fossil fuels for energy. Petrol, carbon, and gas were burned massively polluting the air and the environment. The industrial


OurTake: COP26 — the Most Important UN Climate Summit Since COP21

COP26 is the most important UN climate summit since COP21 in 2015 when the Paris Agreement was signed. At that meeting, representatives from 195 member nations (called Parties; COP stands for Conference of the Parties) made Unilaterally Determined Commitments (UDCs) to lower their carbon emissions, the invisible gases

Take action in the fight against climate change