”Despite all the talk about curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the world is burning more and more coal. The inconvenient truth is that coal remains a cheap and dirty fuel — and the idea of “clean” coal remains a distant dream.”
Scary article by Fred Pearce on Yale Environment 360. It also makes the connection with the Durban climate summit and South-Africa’s coal addiction.
Two interesting quotes from the article:
“All the talks in Durban will be of how to kick the coal habit. But as the climate talks have dragged on — from Nairobi in 2006 to Bali to Poznan to Copenhagen to Cancun and now to Durban — we have been hardening our addiction.
When the talks began half a decade ago, 25 percent of the world’s primary energy came from coal. The figure is now 29.6 percent. Between 2009 and 2010, global coal consumption grew by almost 8 percent.”
“The inconvenient truth is that coal remains the world’s cheapest fuel for electricity generation and industrial heat and power. Another is coal’s PR.
“Clean coal” is its cleverest piece of sophistry. Lobby organizations like the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — sponsored in the past by BHP Billiton, Duke Energy and others — use the phrase to foster the idea we can have both our coal and our climate. Most insidiously, the industry has persuaded many policymakers that dirty coal today can pay for clean coal tomorrow.”