Climate Policy Papers
The World Coal Association has put together a series of ‘Climate Policy Papers’ outlining the role that coal plays in meeting global energy demand, the technologies that are available to reduce emissions from coal which ensure that coal use is compatible with efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, and the steps WCA believes are needed if climate change is to be successfully addressed.
Coal is an essential energy resource and raw material for industrial production and electricity generation, has a vital role in long-term sustainable development and can be used in a manner consistent with climate change goals. WCA calls on countries to work with industry and support this vision for coal as a key resource able to meet the challenges of the coming decades.
A successful response to climate change requires reducing CO2 emissions from coal use. While CCS is a key technology to reduce CO2 emissions from coal use, other technologies - such as improving the efficiency of coal-fired power plants – provide opportunities for significant and cost effective emissions reductions.
The inclusion of CCS as Clean Development Mechanism Project Activities would strengthen the CDM and represent an important step towards accelerating the wide scale deployment of CCS and achieving the ultimate objective of the climate change treaties – the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol – the reduction of global CO2 emissions. WCA supports the inclusion of CCS in the CDM and in any successor mechanism after the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012.
The world is using increasing quantities of coal to meet its energy needs and will rely on this essential energy resource for many decades to come. CCS is the only currently available technology that allows deep cuts to be made in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and must be deployed at huge scale if climate change is to be successfully addressed. Substantial effort is being made now to accelerate the development and deployment of CCS in developed countries. WCA believes that any revised or new international climate change agreement must build upon and enhance these efforts to accelerate the commercialisation of CCS.
Successfully addressing climate change requires the deployment of low-carbon technologies at a scale and rate not previously witnessed. CCS will make an essential contribution to global emissions reduction efforts; attempting to address climate change without CCS is estimated to increase costs by over 70% – an additional annual cost of US$1.28 trillion by 2050. The WCA believes that the new international climate change agreement must play a central role in increasing worldwide investment in CCS.
Stabilising CO2 requires deep cuts to be made in emissions from all sectors. The transport sector emits almost 20% of the world’s CO2 emissions and presents a challenge for emission reduction efforts as the sector is predicted to still rely heavily on oil-based fuels in the coming decades. Decarbonisation of the electricity sector can generate significant emission cuts in transport through substituting fossil fuels with low-carbon electricity. Capturing and storing CO2 from a single, large point source, such as a coal-fired power station, is much simpler than reducing CO2 emissions from many 1000s of vehicles, enabling these emission reductions to be delivered more cost effectively. Electrification of the transport sector would offer significant emissions reductions potential.