Coal in key economies

Recognising the continuing importance of coal for key economies, the WCA is launching a series of country-specific fact-sheets that consider the status of energy in each country.

Key country factsheets

As the Paris Agreement is formally adopted, it is vitally important that its implementation integrates environmental imperatives with the aims of universal access to energy, energy security and social and economic development.

Energy is an enabler of development. Access to affordable and reliable electricity is the foundation of prosperity in the modern world. As demonstrated by the Nationally Determined Contributions, each nation will choose an energy mix that best meets its needs. For this reason many countries have identified a continuing role for coal. This is especially true for the rapidly urbanising and industrialising economies of Asia where coal is forecast to be an integral fuel source and vital to economic growth.   

Only by balancing these elements can the agreement produce emissions reductions consistent with the document vision and with the new agenda for Sustainable Development.

With the use of coal projected to continue to grow over the coming decades, a low emission technology pathway for coal is essential if global climate objectives are to be met.

This begins with deployment of high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) power generation  using technology that is available today. These facilities are being built rapidly and emit 25-33% less CO2 and significantly reduce or eliminate emissions, such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, and particulates. 

Moreover, HELE technology represents significant progress on the pathway towards carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), which is instrumental to global climate objectives.

In order to support the transition away from older, less efficient subcritical technology, these countries will require international financial, technological and other kinds of support to accelerate deployment of this technology. To this end, WCA has proposed the establishment of a Platform to Accelerate Coal Efficiency (PACE) and stand ready to work with international partners to support its implementation  

The following case studies provide an insight into the continuing importance of coal for developing and emerging economies. They explore the proposed approaches that will be taken to deploy cleaner coal technology as the Paris Agreement is implemented.  

Other countries we will be including in the series are – South Africa, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines. These have been selected because they are major emerging and developing economies who have identified a role for HELE in their NDC and we are obviously keen to focus on the role of coal in developing and emerging Asia. 

Recognising the above, many countries have included a role for HELE coal-based power generation in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). 

Key economies

WCA Factsheet India

WCA Factsheet SouthAfrica

WCA Factsheet China

WCA Factsheet Vietnam

WCA Factsheet Bangladesh

WCA Factsheet Philippines

WCA Factsheet Indonesia

WCA factsheet ASEAN