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, Dirty Lies and a time to Rise Up!

Blog by robertgardner | August 19, 2010 6 comments

This blog is a collaborative effort from Robert Gardner and Carolyn Auwaerter. Continued reliance on coal to power our economy is not just foolish, it's dangerous. From extraction to burning to disposing of the waste, coal costs...

Two ways to help stop coal from devastating our communities

Blog by mgaworec | August 9, 2010 5 comments

It’s difficult to overstate the devastating impact that coal has on our world. Our reliance on coal for electricity has driven our climate system close to a catastrophic tipping point and has begun changing the very chemical makeup of...

Greenpeace IT Leaderboard showcases growing divide between talk and action on...

Feature story | April 28, 2010 at 18:00

The newest version of our Information Technology (IT) industry climate ranking reveals how a few global tech companies are taking the lead. They're demonstrating the potential of IT solutions to help reduce energy wastage and greenhouse gas...

Approval of Cape Wind is a burst of fresh air in an otherwise grim month

Blog by gabe_wisniewski | April 28, 2010 3 comments

If you watch any TV or spend any time online, you’ve seen the commercials: Music swells in the background as a normal and sincere looking engineer locks eyes with you and tells you how ExxonMobil is leading the way to environmentally...

Youth know that dirty coal has no role in our clean energy future

Blog by Joe Smyth | April 15, 2010 3 comments

CEOs for some of the world's largest coal companies testified before the House Select Comittee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on April 14th, and it was quite a show.   There was plenty of predictable hype and...

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