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COP21 should recognise HELE coal technologies

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World Coal,

US coal company, Peabody Energy, has released a statement ahead of the UN climate change negotiations in Paris (COP21), calling for the recognition of the coal’s role in the global energy mix and the support of high-efficiency low-emission (HELE) coal technologies.

“Effective implementation will depend on sensible policy action,” the company said. “Fundamental to this is the acknowledgement of practical realities, one of which is the increasingly essential role played by coal in meeting the world’s energy needs.” Coal currently provides nearly 30% of global primary fuel consumption, Peabody said, with International Energy Agency data suggesting the global coal demand is now approaching that of oil.

“The application of advanced technologies in the use of the world’s coal resources presents a ready-today solution of UN negotiators and energy policymakers worldwide,” the company continued. “Technology is the bridge to a low-emission future for countries experiencing increasing electricity demand within their growing economies. It is also a bridge being built rapidly in scores of projects throughout India, China, in Japan and South Korea, across southeast Asia and on the African continent.”

A move to such high-efficiency low-emission technologies (HELE) across the global coal fleet could deliver the equivalent environmental benefits of reducing India’s carbon emissions to zero, claimed the company, which is calling for financial support for the development of HELE projects by policymakers.

“Multilateral funding sources are also beneficial and can assist countries where the cost of deploying advanced technologies is prohibitive,” said Peabody. “Additional incentives should be provided for private sector investments which result in further increases in power generation efficiency.”

Finally the company called for more support of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, highlighting the need for financial support for CCS-ready HELE projects, as well as support for academic research initiatives on the clean use of coal. “Given their similar greenhouse has profiles, power generation with CCS technology should be provided with policy preferences comparable to those afforded to electricity projects fuelled by solar and wind.”

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