2015 Paris Climate Conference – COP21 vs. Coal

“Coal will remain a safe bet for investors for decades to come as Asia drives future demand, says head of World Coal Association, Benjamin Sporton.”

The Asia Asthma Development Board said China has the world’s highest mortality rate from asthma.

The Hidustan Times reports that 13 of the worlds top 20 polluted cities are in India.

While Obama is reducing the amounts of coal exported from the U.S., Australian exports are increasing. Reuters reports that more than $3 billion has been invested in Australian coal projects  in the 18 months prior to August 2015.

As the latest round of who’s who in the World of climate change arrive in Paris, eyes will be on China and the US.  But maybe this time the deadline needs greater imminence and the target needs more focus – on coal.  With black-eyes on China, India, Malaysia and Australia.

Let me share with you just how bad coal is vs other fuels…

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:Carbon loadsNow for the first of our Black Eye Awards lets take a look at the top exporters of Coal in the world

Coal Exports

Wow look at these bad boys! We are all anxious to see what Prime Minister Trudeau will come up with at Paris and of course the worlds media will cover Obama, but what about Joko Widodo and Malcolm Turnbull?

Where does all the coal go?

“I said ‘mama I come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell’
She said ‘son this is the road to hell” – Chris Rea

Ian Barnes of the IEA Clean Coal Centre talks about how HELE technology will reduce emissions from coal fired power plants in the future. HELE means high- efficiency, low-emissions…China HELE Emissions

India HELE emissions

The point Ian is trying to make here is that by providing “clean coal” to countries shackled by “energy poverty” we are helping them advance economically. Really? Even with the introduction of the new technology, the most probable scenario is growth of coal fired plants in China and India and continued growth of carbon emissions until at least 2035. Notice how Ian has both countries carbon emissions peaking at 2035.

We Canadians have high hopes for Catherine McKenna to deliver for us at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, but unless the world is prepared to do a lot more about reducing coal as a source of electricity, Indonesia, Australia and Russia all come to the valley of the rich, coal to sell. Yup, you can bet this is the road to hell.

Sources for information:

Upgrading the Efficiency of the World’s Coal Fleet to Reduce CO2 Emissions

US Energy Information Administration/International Energy Statistics

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