WCA: Coal still deemed essential by many countries
The continued use of coal for power generation cannot be dismissed, especially since many countries are looking to it as key to their economic recovery from the ravages of the pandemic, according to a global industry lobby group.
The United Kingdom-based World Coal Association (WCA) was reacting to a report of Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). The report, Coal 2020, stated that global coal demand was primed for a rebound in 2021, riding on the expected global economic recovery. However, the IEA also noted that there was little sign that the world’s coal consumption would decline substantially in the coming years, with rising demand in some Asian economies offsetting declines elsewhere. “In the acute stages of COVID-19, many countries identified coal as essential, critical to their economies during the pandemic and key to their recovery,” WCA chief executive Michelle Manook said in a statement.
“The importance of coal to countries particularly across Asia is clear and we cannot dismiss the rights of developing nations to choose stable, reliable and affordable energy to support recovery and economic growth,” Manook said.
She said coal would continue to be a significant contributor to development, through its role in electricity “and in producing the building blocks of our societies,” referring to steel and cement.
“There is no one size fits all solution. Many countries have identified a role for clean coal technologies in their Paris Agreement pledges,” Manook said.
“This doesn’t mean transitioning away from coal.” “Instead, they are creating diverse, affordable and resilient fuel systems, reducing the emissions profile of coal in the long-term through the deployment of clean coal technologies.”