Coal

Coal fired power plants are the biggest source of man made CO2 emissions. This makes coal energy the single greatest threat facing our climate.

[Live in the USA?  Check out the Quit Coal website to join communities around the country organizing to fight coal and demand clean energy.]

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including widespread drought, flooding and massive population displacement caused by rising sea levels, we need to keep global temperature rise below 2ºC (compared to pre-industrial levels). To do this, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015 and from there go down to zero.

I can’t understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.

Noble Peace Prize winner Al Gore

A third of all carbon dioxide emissions come from burning coal. It's used to produce nearly 40 percent of the world’s power, and hundreds of new coal plants are planned over the next years if the industry gets its way.

Apart from climate change, coal also causes irreparable damage to the environment, people’s health and communities around the world. While the coal industry itself isn’t paying for the damage it causes, the world at large is.

Quit coal for real solutions

The world has enough technically accessible renewable energy to meet current energy demands six times over. We need an energy revolution that substitutes wind, solar, energy efficiency and other modern technologies for dirty energy sources like coal.

Unfortunately, governments across the world are allowing industry to spend hundreds of billion of dollars to build hundreds of new coal-fired power stations worldwide in the coming years. If they are built, CO2 emissions from coal are expected to rise 60 percent by 2030. This will undermine any international agreements to tackle climate change.

These governments have in part been seduced by an illusion of “clean coal.” The result of a major public relations offensive by the coal industry including a number of dubious “technological fixes” that they claim make burning coal safe for the climate.

Coal blockade

Activists block the construction of a new coal fired power plant in Rotterdam.

One of these Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) is a plan to capture carbon emissions from power stations and bury them underground. The technology won’t be ready for at least another 20 years, too late to save the climate. Yet the vague promises of CCS are being used to justify building new coal-fired plants. These plants will spew out enormous amounts of CO2 pollution for at least the next 20 years and probably during their whole 40-year lifetime. In short, any new coal fired power plant will contribute massively to the climate crisis.

The world doesn’t need more coal, it needs an Energy [R]evolution.

As world leaders fail to step up and take the necessary action to stop coal, people across the world are taking on the struggles themselves. Across the world environmental activists, students, doctors, church leaders and many more are mobilising against coal.

We have been supporting local movements against coal accross the globe and taking action to stop global warming.

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The latest updates

 

Apple wins U.S. EPA award for helping to lead the clean energy revolution in North...

Blog entry by David Pomerantz | 25 September, 2013

Apple won a Green Power Leadership award today from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its use of renewable energy to power its business, especially its data center in North Carolina, the building where Apple stores your...

Climate change: solutions within our grasp

Blog entry by Stephanie Tunmore | 23 September, 2013 2 comments

What’s up with climate change? Has it stopped yet, as some newspapers suggested? Nope, sorry. It’s still galloping ahead. And next week we’ll hear exactly how fast, and what it will mean for our possible futures, as the world’s...

Dispatch from the front-line against dirty coal in Europe

Blog entry by Gregor Kessler | 16 September, 2013 17 comments

Today 40 Greenpeace activists in Germany chained themselves to a railway line to block coal shipments to one of Europe’s most polluting power plants. The plant is run by the Swedish state-owned energy giant, Vattenfall, burning...

China air pollution concerns forces a new direction for coal use

Blog entry by Harri Lammi | 13 September, 2013

After 5 months of negotiations behind closed doors, China has finally announced a detailed air pollution action plan to cut fine particle PM2.5 pollution and clear the skies above the country. The plan, for the first time, sets out to...

Greenpeace investigation: why China needs to move away from coal to save its water

Blog entry by Deng Ping | 11 September, 2013

Water is the basis of life everywhere, but few things drive that fact home like visiting the arid western and northern parts of China, where grasslands are turning into desert, wells are emptying and rivers are running dry because of...

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