Man-made carbon dioxide emitted by world’s biggest coal plant could threaten global warming: report
The global carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants could soon hit 1 billion tonnes, as part of a new global assessment of coal power plants.
The World Resources Institute (WRI) said it has compiled an “in-depth assessment” of the coal sector and the impact it will have on the world’s climate.
The WRI’s “World Coal Market” report, which was published this week, shows the total carbon dioxide released by coal plants worldwide in the next two decades will grow from 1.3 billion tonnes in 2030 to 3.5 billion tonnes by 2050.
“This report is a very important first step toward understanding the future impacts of coal use on climate,” WRI chief economist Mark Thornton said in a statement.
“The report shows that the coal industry is rapidly changing and it is not going away.”
The report said that the new carbon emissions will not only affect the climate but the health of the planet as well.
“Coal power plants have a major impact on global warming,” the report said.
“Their impact on climate change could significantly increase over the next decades.”
The new report also found that the carbon dioxide release by coal-fired power plants could be a major contributor to global warming.
In 2050, it estimates that the world will release 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2.
In 2030, the WRI estimates the world would release 3.7 billion tonnes.
That means that in 2030, coal plants are projected to release 1,900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, a doubling of the previous year’s figure.
“That’s about half the amount that is released in 2030 by the entire electricity sector,” Thornton said.
“Coal plants are taking up a lot of that carbon dioxide.”
The coal industry has been growing in popularity in recent years, with coal being used to generate more than half of the world coal supply.
Coal-fired plants are currently burning the majority of the electricity that goes into the world.
In the first quarter of 2020, for example, coal accounted for almost a third of the energy used by China, followed by gas and wind.
“The coal sector is going to have to be much more transparent about the actual carbon emissions and they need to be accountable to the people of the countries where they’re located,” Thornton added.
“They need to do that.”
In a statement, the Australian Government said the report showed that Australia would have to “continue to take the lead” in transitioning away from coal if the country is to reduce the carbon emissions from its electricity system.
“We need a new energy policy that is ambitious and delivers real change, as the world is turning away from the fossil fuel economy and transitioning to clean energy sources,” the statement said.