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WCA: emphasise low-emissions technologies

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World Coal,

The World Coal Association (WCA) has called on climate negotiators meeting this week in Bonn to take positive action to advance the deployment of all low-emission technologies.

Benjamin Sporton, WCA CEO, stated: “Negotiators have a significant challenge in balancing climate objectives with the very real need to improve energy access to the 1.3 billion people worldwide who live in energy poverty.”

Sporton indicated the solution to meeting these challenges is low-emission technologies, including high-efficiency low-emission (HELE) coal technologies and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

He continued: “All sources of energy have a role to play in meeting demand – both in developed and developing countries. While renewables have an important role to play in providing off-grid electricity to domestic users, it is impossible for an economy to develop without access to affordable, reliable, grid-based electricity. Coal is a key source of grid-based electricity worldwide; according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global electricity from coal is expected to grow by around 33% to 2040.”

Sporton therefore indicated it essential the most advanced technologies be promoted in order for coal to be used in the most clean way as possible. He explained HELE technologies can significantly reduce CO2 emissions as well as other emissions that impact air quality. Raising the average efficiency of the global coal fleet from the current 33% to 40% would save 2 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent to India’s annual CO2 emissions.

Sporton explained: “CCS is essential to global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions – it can reduce emissions from coal by 90%. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that climate action would be 138% more expensive and it would be unlikely the 2°C target will be met without CCS."

He concluded: “It is only by treating climate and development objectives as integrated priorities that we will successfully overcome these global challenges. It is essential that any new climate agreement is technology neutral. Reducing emissions globally, while ensuring energy security and economic development, means investing in all low-emission technologies, including HELE and CCS.”

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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