Coal ‘isn’t going anywhere,’ industry head says

Coal ‘isn’t going anywhere,’ industry head says

The head of the coal industry’s international association said coal will remain a significant fuel source, despite predictions otherwise.

Benjamin Sporton, head of the World Coal Association, told the Guardian that Asia especially still has a significant appetite for the cheap and accessible power coal provides.

“There is an assumption we can get rid of coal and that is how we can solve the climate problem,” Sporton told the newspaper. “But coal plays a critical role in the world’s energy mix and is going to for a very long time to come. All sources of energy will increase, but coal isn’t going anywhere.”Sporton gave the Guardian an interview after a Tuesday report from the International Energy Association (IEA) found that renewable energy is the second-leading source of electricity and will overtake coal in the next two decades.

Renewables are also attracting 60 percent of new energy investment, the IEA concluded.

As for climate change, Sporton said new technology such as carbon capture and sequestration will ensure that coal has a future in a low-carbon world.

“The WCA has long recognised the need to reduce emissions,” Sporton said. “The global objective is to reduce emissions to get us on the pathway to [2 degrees Celsius of global warming] and if we are going to achieve that [then] ‘high efficiency-low emissions’ and CCS technologies are needed.”

The IEA’s report predicted that coal will fulfill about 10 percent of the energy demand growth in the coming decades, due largely to Asia.

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