NewEnergyNews: COAL MUST BE CLEANER

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  • Friday, December 07, 2007

    COAL MUST BE CLEANER

    WWF (World Wildlife Fund) International is one of the true heroes of the environmental movement, in stewardship of the creation and in advocacy for the use of energy from the sun, the wind and the seas. For that reason, NewEnergyNews is stepping back from its own consistent criticism of clean coal to present this story.

    Only this caveat: WWF International has a regular presence in the countries described here and therefore recognizes the brutal reality of coal. NewEnergyNews regularly studies the reports on “clean” coal development and therefore recognizes it may cut down somewhat on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from current dirty coal levels but mining it is still a devastation to the landscape, transporting it requires the burning of a lot of fossil fuel and capturing the GHGs is not very efficient.


    Cleaner coal key part of energy supply: environmentalists
    November 26, 2007 (AFP via Yahoo News)

    WHO
    Ina Pozon, co-ordinator, WWF International's Asia Pacific Coal Initiative

    It they say it is necessary to consider the oxymoron of "clean" coal, then it is surely necessary.

    WHAT
    Looking at the predicted doubling of world energy consumption by 2050 and the contradictory need to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 60% to 80% by mid-century, The WWF concluded that in addition to aggressive ramping up of New Energy development and aggressive imposition of efficiency measures the world will require effective clean coal technology.

    WHEN
    WWF reports outlining its strategy through mid-century were released November 26.

    WHERE
    These WWF International focus on the use of coal in the booming and expanding economies of the Asia Pacific region.

    WHY
    - These reports represent 2 important recognitions: (1) the inevitability of coal and (2) the necessity of research, development and perfection of “clean” coal technology.
    - Coal is currently 70% of China’s energy consumption. China’s energy consumption is rising rapidly. China will become the world’s biggest emitter of GHGs in 2008.
    - The WWF report indicates that coal, currently appealing to developing nations because of its cheapness as well as its abundance, would be 56% more expensive if externalities like social and environmental impacts were included in its cost.

    Asia is not the only place coal is a problem. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    - Pozon, WWF, on the necessary use of goal in developing nations: "Governments must get industry to prove the viability of clean coal technologies, otherwise social and environmental impacts of local pollution and global climate change will prohibit large scale use of coal…"
    - Pozon, on meeting energy demand: "Asian nations can't just keep relying on coal as a cheap and available source of energy, but need to boost energy efficiency and become serious about renewable energy now…"

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