The World Coal Association (WCA) has called on the government of Norway to reject a call from the opposition party to divest investments in coal.
WCA CEO, Milton Catelin, commented: “This proposal ignores the vital contribution coal makes globally to economic development and poverty reduction and will do nothing to address the global challenge of climate change. Divesting coal assets does not reduce demand for coal; instead it reduces investment in companies serious about addressing its environmental challenges and may lead to investment in companies less interested in clean coal technologies.
“Norway’s sovereign wealth fund includes many companies such as Shenhua Group, CONSOL Energy, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Anglo American actively investing in clean coal technologies, such as high-efficiency low-emissions coal and carbon capture and storage. These technologies can play a significant role in reducing global CO2 emissions.”
Cut global emissions
Increasing the average efficiency rate of all coal-fired power stations globally to modern efficiency standards of 45% would cut global CO2 emissions by 2.4 Gt each year, which equates to more than India’s total annual CO2 emissions.
“When 1.3 billion people worldwide lack any form of access to energy, we should be balancing the urgent need to address global warming alongside the need to alleviate energy poverty. Divestment campaigns are not solutions to either of these challenges,” Catelin explained.
“The World Coal Association calls on the Norwegian Government and fund managers Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) to reject this proposal and meet with the coal industry and other stakeholders to discuss how Norway can make a meaningful contribution to the global energy and environment challenges we face.
“Given all forecasts of how demand for energy is going to increase, we are going to need all sources of energy available to us – including coal. The IEA forecasts that coal will provide more than half of the on-grid electricity needed to meet their “Energy for All” scenario. The world is not in a position to side-line any one energy source. We cannot fight climate change by ignoring poverty. Our priority should be to reduce emissions from our energy use and promote the use of technologies that allow us to do this,” Catelin concluded.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/30012014/wca_requests_rejection_of_coal_divestment_467/