The US delegation at the COP23 climate talks last month promoted the use of new technologies that improve efficiency and reduce emissions from coal and other fossil fuels as part of the solution to climate change.
The US administration is pushing for an international “clean coal alliance” that would share carbon capture and storage (CCS) and high efficiency, low emission (HELE) technologies with developing countries.
According to George David Banks, America’s chief representative at COP23, the clean coal alliance would share the “best and newest American tech to make sure coal anywhere in the world is burned as cleanly as possible.”
The alliance would likely be made up of some of the biggest coal consumers in the world, such as the US, along with coal consuming countries, including Japan, Australia, Vietnam and some African countries.
During the UN climate change meetings at COP23, Banks said the Paris Agreement was counterproductive in helping less developed countries achieve their emission targets and it is essential to help them generate electricity to allow their economies to grow.
Meanwhile at the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, countries including Canada, Denmark and France have formed an alliance to phase out the use of coal power generation before 2030. However, many of those that have signed up to this pledge have little to no coal production or consumption.
China and India, two of the largest coal consuming countries, have not joined the anti-coal initiative and questioning why they must make sacrifices, based on what non-coal producing countries are telling them, while the US focuses on President Donald Trump’s “America First” vision.
Chief executive of the World Coal Association, Benjamin Sporton, said: “With the world set to use fossil fuels, including coal, for the foreseeable future, Canada and the UK should direct efforts to advancing carbon capture and storage technology because that’s much more likely to achieve global climate objectives than unrealistic calls to eliminate coal in major emerging economies.”