There is a clear pathway to zero emissions from coal. This starts with low emission coal technologies and progresses to carbon capture use and storage (CCUS).
High efficiency low emission (HELE) coal technologies are a group of technologies developed to increase the amount of energy that can be generated from a coal plant while decreasing emissions.
These technologies are in existence and commercially available today. Japan and China have been the most active in building HELE plants. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest forecast, 675GW of these highly efficient plants will be built by 2040.
Another technology vital for meeting global climate goals is CCUS. Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the IEA have repeated the importance of CCUS. The IPCC maintains that without CCUS, the cost of achieving long-term climate goals will be 138% more costly. The IEA has also repeatedly confirmed the importance of CCUS as part of a suite of low-carbon technologies in meeting global climate goals.
We need greater action to accelerate the deployment of CCUS globally to ensure we meet the targets set in the Paris Agreement. Real solutions to climate change will only come through action on all low emission technologies, and it’s vital that these include CCUS.