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ACC message to COP21

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World Coal,

The American Coal Council has called on the COP21 UN climate change negotiations to focus on “the best ways of using energy resources to balance economic, social and environmental objectives” and criticised the US Clean Power Plan (CPP) as providing no solution to the challenge of global warming.

Pointing out that coal fuels economic development and helps to improve the quality and longevity of human life, the ACC calls for a climate change plan that recognises that coal will continue to be used as a global fuel source and not left in the ground, citing International Energy Agency figures that put coal use at 9 billion t by 2019.

“The key to emissions reductions lies not in leaving essential energy sources in the ground, but in continuing to develop technologies for lowering emissions while continuing to use those resources,” the ACC said in a written statement. “The US has been a leader in that area, reducing conventional emissions (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter) from coal-based power generation plants by nearly 90% over the past four decades.”

In contract, the proposed CPP for existing and new power plants would “thwart technology development for greenhouse gas reduction,” said the ACC, adding that analysis has shown that the CPP would reduce global temperature by only a hundredth of a degree Fahrenheit.

“Clearly, EPA’s rules are not a solution,” the ACC concludes. “They would have the negative consequence of increasing US energy costs and driving energy intensive businesses to other countries with far less stringent environmental requirements, including for carbon emissions. This ‘leakage’ could increase global emissions.”

Instead, the ACC calls for a policy path that “supports deployment of advanced coal-fuelled 21st century power plants using high-efficiency, low-emissions technologies and accelerates the development of carbon capture and storage technology,” which is calls an “essential component” in tackling global emissions reduction.

“Without [CCS], global energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions reductions will not align,” said the ACC. “There will be no low carbon world without low carbon coal.

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