Coal-fired electricity is a significant contributor to global CO2 emissions, according to new research.
The researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) found that, compared to the United States, China and India are the only countries to have more coal-generated power than coal-free electricity.
Their research found that coal power generation in China, India and Russia has been increasing at a rate of almost three per cent a year, while power generation from coal-burning power plants in the United Kingdom, Germany and France has been declining at a similar rate.
This means that the United Nations climate change conference in Paris this year will see a shift in energy policy in the West from coal to gas and renewables.
“The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere from coal has been substantial over the last few decades, and the main drivers of this increase have been increasing CO2 uptake,” said Julie Crouch, who led the research team.
“However, because we know that most of the CO2 coming from this increase is stored in the air, it makes sense to take the most immediate action we can to limit the CO1 released from burning fossil fuels, such as switching to low-carbon power generation.”
This research shows that we need to take action now to stop climate change and to limit CO2 pollution.”
In a new paper, Crouch and her co-authors explain why they believe this shift in policy is necessary.
They argue that governments should focus on cutting CO2 from fossil fuels in the first place and should invest in developing new and cheaper ways to capture the CO that fuels global warming.
In the United States, CO2 from coal combustion accounts for over half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, while other sources account for the rest.
Despite coal being a major source of global CO 2 emissions, the US has seen a decrease in CO 2 production since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency.
While coal power plants are more polluting than natural gas and nuclear power, this shift is not a new phenomenon.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the coal industry has produced over 870 billion tons of CO2 since the early 1970s.
So why are governments focusing so much on reducing CO2? In short, environmentalists have said that coal will be a major contributor to climate change, and coal-related power plant spent only 4 per cent of US energy in 2020.
That means that if the United states wanted to stop global warming by cutting CO 2 from fossil fuels at the same rate as the rest of the world, it would require a total of over 40GW of new coal-based power generation capacity.
It is also important to consider the fact that a new coal plant is not a new thing in the US.
Before the US built its first coal plant in the early 1980s, the country had only built six. There are about 50 coal-powered plants across the United State and the US has been building coal-fired power for years.
To cut emissions of CO2, there has to be a substantial shift in policy from coal to renewables, which is not going to happen overnight.
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