IEA Special Report on Sustainable Recovery

18th Jun 2020

Statement from Michelle Manook
World Coal Association Chief Executive

The World Coal Association (WCA) recognises the challenges in developing recovery pathways and welcomes the emphasis in the IEA’s Special Report on Sustainable Recovery on boosting economic growth, creating new jobs, and building more resilient and cleaner energy systems.

The IEA Special Report on Sustainable Recovery highlights the huge challenges that we are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. An inclusive approach towards economic recovery is more vital than ever; all energy stakeholders must work together to support the clean energy transition.

This is not about ignoring our environmental responsibilities or aspirations; it’s about realistically balancing all factors that impact our society and working together for a sustainable recovery.

Coal has been an essential resource for multiple economies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and they’ve made it very clear that coal is critical to their economic recovery. This makes it even more compelling that government and investment policies are agnostic and inclusive of all fuels and all clean technologies. This is not an ‘either/or’ decision – we need all energy sources and all clean technologies available to us.

The IEA has made it clear that to boost economic growth, create new jobs and build more resilient and cleaner energy systems, we need a ‘grand coalition’ of stakeholders working together.

The impacts of COVID-19 mean that we have seen a reset in the discussion from one of ideology to one of pragmatism and inclusivity surrounding transformation, transitioning, and working together meaningfully to achieve the clean energy transition.

World Coal Association members are committed to shaping a sustainable future for coal, and actively seek collaboration with industries, governments, and investors, to innovate and deliver the clean energy transition we need across the globe to rebuild economies and communities post COVID-19.

The coal industry has a track record of demonstrating that it can respond to operational and environmental challenges through innovation and technological advancements. We can see this today with advances in both carbon capture, use and storage and hydrogen. We will continue to support economies by working in partnerships with governments, investors, and industry.