Greenpeace: Quit 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.

Make no mistake: coal is dirty. From the destruction of mountaintops to the poisoning of our water and air to global warming, coal is a threat to our health and environment.

To secure a safe climate and healthy future, we must end our dependence on coal. The good news is that with clean, renewable energy, we can get off coal while creating jobs, saving consumers money, and growing our economy.

Coal Fuels Global Warming

Global warming is a clear and present danger to America's public health, economy, and environment. One record-breaking hurricane season follows another. Declining mountain snowpack is aggravating water shortages in the West. California's destructive wildfire season has become longer and more destructive than ever before. This is what global warming looks like.

Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels and the largest single source of global warming pollution in the world. Currently one-third of all CO2 emissions comes from burning coal. To curb global warming pollution to the levels needed to minimize the risk of catastrophic global warming, we must end our use of coal in the U.S. within the next 30-40 years.

Unfortunately, governments around the world are allowing, and in some cases subsidizing, the construction of hundreds of new coal-fired power plants. If these plants are built, CO2 emissions from coal are expected to rise 60 percent by 2030, severely undermining efforts to tackle climate change. Here in the U.S., according to a Coal Moratorium NOW! survey, nearly 100 coal plants are currently under construction or in the planning process.

Coal is NOT Clean

Greenpeace image - Coal is DirtyAfter multi-million-dollar PR campaigns by the coal industry, many in government have become seduced by the illusion of “carbon-free coal.” The industry wants Americans to believe that coal can be made safe for the environment by capturing and permanently storing the global warming pollution.

This technology, Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) is a false hope. Despite tens of billions in public subsidies, it has never been made to work. The idea that the same coal industry that spilled enormous amounts of coal ash sludge last December in Tennessee will be able to permanently store billions of tons of a clear, odorless gas with no leakage is hard to imagine, to say the least. Yet vague promises of CCS are being used to justify building new coal-fired plants. But any new coal-fired power plant will contribute massively to the climate crisis.

Demand Real Change

Greenpeace image - Capitol Climate ActionThe world doesn't need more coal — we need an Energy Revolution. The world has enough technically accessible renewable energy to meet current energy demand almost six times over. Renewable technologies, such as wind, solar, sustainable bioenergy and more can revolutionize the ways we produce energy and prevent dangerous global warming.

People across the world are taking on the struggles themselves. Across the world environmental activists, students, doctors, church leaders and many more are mobilizing against coal. Greenpeace joins these activists in their efforts to save the climate and quit coal.

Learn more about the Capitol Climate Action, which occurred in March of 2009 and was the largest civil disobedience on global warming in U.S. history.

The latest updates


Coal Free Future Tour Kicks Off

Blog by Kelly Mitchell | January 20, 2011 1 comment

The Arctic Sunrise arrived in Wilmington, NC this morning to kick off our Coal Free Future ship tour . After long days of planning and prep, we're excited to finally to sit down with people in North Carolina and hear - first hand...

Cleaner Air: EPA steps up to protect Texas communities

Blog by Gabe Wisniewski | January 13, 2011

In an effort to ensure that residents in Texas receive the same Clean Air Act protections as the rest of the nation— a court ordered the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to implement regulations for big industrial polluters for...

Coming Soon: Coal Free Future Tour

Blog by Kelly Mitchell | January 13, 2011 10 comments

The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise is returning to the US to kick off the Coal Free Future Tour. Across the country, communities are joining together to take on the coal plants in their backyard. Like so many of us, these ...

Long Live Judy Bonds!

Blog by James Brady | January 4, 2011 6 comments

Some of you might have known Judy Bonds, some of you may have heard of her, and some might wonder what this is about. Judy Bonds was a tireless fighter in the struggle against Mountaintop removal for coal extraction. ...

Human Stories from the Life Cycle of Coal

Blog by Michelle Frey | December 20, 2010 6 comments

From the mountains of Kentucky, to the innercity neighborhoods of Chicago, the entire life cycle of coal is filthy—from disastrous mining practices like mountaintop removal, to toxic emissions. What is the true cost of coal on our...

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