Does Coal Threaten the Global Energy Transformation?
The talk discusses the question why countries around the globe are still investing in carbon-intensive coal – despite the fact that renewables become increasingly cost-effective – as well as the resulting implications for the Paris Agreement.
Public | English
Organizer: Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)
Euref-Campus, Haus 19, Torgauer Straße. 12-15, 10829 Berlin
Changing the way we supply energy plays a key role for achieving he climate targets agreed in Paris. The power sector today relies heavily on fossil fuels, although low carbon alternatives are widely available. Despite recent cost reductions in renewable energy technologies and high growth rates in low carbon capacities, many countries still invest (or plan to invest) in carbon-intensive coal.
As coal fired power plants have a long economic life time, those operating and currently under construction are expected to emit 240 Gt of CO2 to the atmosphere. Achieving the Paris targets can be translated to a carbon budget of around 700 Gt CO2. Hence, remaining below the budget requires a gradual phase out from coal – and a full phase out of new investments. This deep transformation is unprecedented in history.
Yet, a shift in investment patterns does not seem to be at the horizon as growth rates of new coal investments and coal use are still positive. This talk will discuss reasons why countries and companies invest in coal and how a transformation away from coal could be incentivized and managed.
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