WHAT follows are some thoughts about coal from a report just published in Australia.
A longer-term concern relates to the environmental impacts of large-scale coal use, especially its climate consequences….
Coal is a carbon-intensive fuel and the environmental consequences of its use can be significant, especially if it is used inefficiently and without effective emissions and waste control technologies. Such environmental consequences include emissions of pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, particulates, mercury, and carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Indeed coal-sourced pollution remains the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion. Hence most forecasts show a very wide range of future coal demand, based on differing degrees of environmental policy implementation.
Now who might have written that? An environmental campaigner? An anti-coal activist in a less bombastic mood? Maybe they’re the words of an advocate for action on climate change?
Actually, these are the views of Ian Cronshaw, a long-standing advisor to the International Energy Agency who was commissioned by the Energy Policy Institute of Australia to write a report about coal and its future economic outlook.
The Energy Policy Institute of Australia’s board includes a number of figures who have spent their careers in and around the fossil fuel industry.