With coal-reliant Poland hosting UN climate talks, the fossil fuel industry will get a rare chance to play a more visible role in the global warming debate.
But in a move that has infuriated climate activists, the Polish government will also preside over a high-level coal industry event on the sidelines of the two-week climate conference, which starts Monday.
Since the Industrial Revolution, coal has been a mainstay of Australia’s economy. Coal’s ability to deliver jobs, foreign income and affordable electricity has made it crucial to the nation’s prosperity, and will continue to do so for decades to come.
Coal has an important role to play in ensuring energy security and independence in Australia. Coal is an affordable, reliable and locally available energy resource, offering cost advantages over all other energy sources.
Once hailed as a global blueprint, the European model requires nations to increase renewable energy use, improve energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions rates through an expensive array of subsidies and emissions trading schemes. This approach has sent energy costs soaring, with electricity prices in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Europe 37 percent higher than the United States.
A full life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rates for shale gas versus coal by Cornell University shows that the GHG impact of shale gas is higher when comparing both fuel sources over a 20-year time-frame.
The Callide Oxyfuel Project in Queensland, the first of its kind in the world, is a blueprint for the future of low-emission, coal-fueled power generation. The project demonstrates Australia’s leadership advancing clean energy from coal toward the ultimate goal of near-zero emissions.
Shop in just about any rural village anywhere in the developing world and chances are you’ll find Coca-Cola, chips or even cell phone cards for sale. And yet this miracle of globalization has a glaring gap: in that same village, life-saving medicines are likely not available at any price.
The reason? Essential drugs to treat such curable diseases as tuberculosis, yellow fever and malaria require refrigeration. The difference of just a few degrees can render an expensive drug unusable. In much of the world, reliable, affordable electricity is not available for the most basic need of keeping medicines consistently cool.
The Canadian Province of Ontario avoids coal-fueled generation for its energy portfolio, driving a 67 percent increase in residential electric bills and an increase in government subsidies for other energy this past decade. Under this energy policy, Ontario also has lost 300,000 jobs in the energy-intensive manufacturing sector since 2005.
In the U.S., our vast, domestically secure supply of coal has fueled the American economic machine for many decades and our fleet of existing coal-fired power plants provides very inexpensive electricity. This means that U.S. industry has a competitive edge over manufacturers in other countries that do not have reliable, abundant, low-cost electricity generated from coal resources, and consumers are able to keep more of their income to spend on other expenses. Further, our coal-based power generation is fully dispatchable—when you need it, it is there. In addition, affordable and reliable electricity generated by coal enables the expansion of electro-technologies, which are the basis of modern society.
When you think of natural resources on the Canadian Prairies, the first thing that likely comes to mind is wheat. While it is true the Province of Saskatchewan has a strong agricultural economy, according to the Premier, it is also rich in energy resources such as uranium, oil and a 300-year supply of coal.