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A call to action

World Coal,

The World Coal Association has announced the launch of the Warsaw Communiqué, which aims to tackle climate change with the help of the coal industry. The Warsaw Communiqué is a call for action to support the use and deployment of more efficient coal technologies in order to combat climate change.

The Warsaw Communiqué was developed by the WCA in cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Economy and has already been endorsed by Janusz Piechocinski, Poland’s deputy prime minister. The communiqué outlines pragmatic solutions that address environmental challenges, while allowing coal to continue playing its role as an affordable, abundant and easily accessible source of energy.

The Warsaw Communiqué includes a three-step call to action:

1. The immediate use of high-efficiency low emissions coal combustion technologies.

The communiqué stresses that wherever it is economically and technically feasible at existing and new power plants, clean coal technologies must be installed. This is seen as an immediate step in lowering greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants around the world and a necessary milestone toward the deployment of carbon capture utilisation and storage technologies, once these have been demonstrated and commercialised.

2. Governments must bring coal-fired power generation to current state of the art levels.

Before COP20, the communiqué calls on governments to move the global average efficiency of coal-fired power technology plants to current state of the art levels, while also supporting R&D efforts to further improve the efficiency of coal combustion technologies.

3. Development banks must support developing countries

Following news that both the European Investment Bank and the World Bank plan to limit funding of coal-fired power plants, the communiqué stresses the need for development banks to support developing countries in accessing clean coal technologies, including high-efficiency low-emissions coal combustion technologies.

Minimising climate impact

Milton Catelin, CEO of the WCA called for urgent action in deploying and supporting technology that could help meet the climate challenge. “There are existing technologies that allow coal to be used while minimising climate impacts,” Catelin said. “These high-efficiency, low-emissions, coal combustion technologies can lower greenhouse gas emissions immediately, highlighting the importance of deploying them as widely and as quickly as possible. If new coal-fired generating capacity added between 2000 and 2011 had used advanced coal technologies, cumulative emissions of CO2 over that period would have been reduced by almost 2 Gt – this is three times the expected effect of the Kyoto Protocol.”

“There is a misconception that the use of coal is incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change. This is simply not true,” Catelin stated. “With the support of industry, governments, development banks and the international community, coal can continue to play its role in delivering on economic development goals, affordable energy and industrial growth while managing the expectations of people worldwide on climate change and other environmental challenges.”

Call to action

The WCA are now calling for as many interested stakeholders as possible to sign the Warsaw Communiqué in the run up to the International Coal & Climate Summit being held in Warsaw, 18-19 November 2013.

The Warsaw Communiqué, with a list of all signatories, will be delivered to the President of the 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19), which is being held in Warsaw, from 11-22 November 2013.

Readers can sign The Warsaw Communiqué here

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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