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Moving forward to reduce methane from coal mines

Published by
World Coal,

An effective near-term option to reduce emissions that result from coal production, transportation, storage and use, capturing and use, is to capture and use methane that coal mines produce.

As a way of facilitating collection and distribution of best practices in sustainable methane management in coal mines, UNECE and Poland are joining together to establish an International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane. It will operate under the auspices of the UNECE Group of Experts of Coal Mine Methane and be hosted by the Central Mining Institute in Katowice.

UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach and Jerzy Pietrewicz, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy on behalf of Janusz Piechocinski, Deputy Prime Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that calls for the Centre to start operations in 2016.

The centre will enable UNECE to engage with a wider community, including civil society, mining associations and decision-makers, in order to raise awareness on the challenges and opportunities in methane management.

Christian Friis Bach commented: “Coal is like a sponge soaked with methane, and all too often methane is the cause of deadly fires and explosions in coal mines. By promoting socially acceptable and environmentally responsible coal mine practices, the centre can help save lives in coal mines around the world. In addition, methane from coal is a valuable energy source that we can use to heat homes or produce electricity. Capturing and using methane in coal mines will thus increase safety while also reducing global warming.”

Pietrewicz added: “The centre will put Poland on the map of climate change mitigation efforts. It is time for action. Onsite training that provides concrete, hands-on learning experience is needed to translate good practices into tangible results. We invite all United Nations Member States that exploit coal mines to benefit from the expertise of the centre.”

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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