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WCA sets out stall ahead of COP21

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World Coal,

The World Coal Association (WCA) has called for greater commitment to low-emission coal technology as part of its position statement for COP21, which begins next week in Paris.

The WCA position argues that, without action to support deployment of high-efficiency low-emission (HELE) coal technology, such as supercritical and ultra-supercritical boiler technology, it “will not be possible to achieve the 2° climate target.” The association also calls for global investment in carbon capture, and storage (CCUS).

“If comprehensive policy and financial support is provided for CCS over the coming decade, including policy parity, it is realistic to believe that a transition toward no new unabated fossil fuels could begin in the late 2020s,” the WCA said.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate action would be 138% more expensive – if not impossible – without the widespread deployment of CCS.

“We need all sources of energy to meet growing energy needs and all low-emission technologies to reduce emissions,” said Benjamin Sporton, WCA’s CEO. “It is therefore imperative to establish policy parity for all low-emission technologies if we want to achieve our climate targets.”

But according to the WCA, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) has received only 1% of the cumulative value of policy support provided to renewable technologies – estimated as US$100 billion/yr.

Meanwhile, the UK government has recently announced that funding for its CCS Commercialisation Competition is being withdrawn, only 6 months before it was due to be assigned, a decision described as “devastating” by Luke Warren of the UK’s CCS Association.

“Affordable, reliable and accessible electricity is the foundation of prosperity in the modern world,” concluded Sporton. “Eash nation will choose an energy mix that best meets its needs and, for more countries, coal will continue to play a significant role. We believe real solutions to climate change will only come through technological change and action on all low emission technology, including HELE and CCUS.”

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