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Coal - Dec 20

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Coal to challenge oil's dominance by 2017, says IEA

Fiona Harvey, The Guardian
Coal is likely to rival oil as the world's biggest source of energy in the next five years, with potentially disastrous consequences for the climate, according to the world's leading authority on energy economics.

One of the biggest factors behind the rise in coal use has been the massive increase in the use of shale gas in the US.

Coal consumption is increasing all over the world – even in countries and regions with carbon-cutting targets – except the US, where shale gas has displaced coal, shows new research from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The decline of the fuel in the US has helped to cut prices for coal globally, which has made it more attractive, even in Europe where coal use was supposed to be discouraged by the emissions trading scheme.
(18 December 2012)
Link to IEA press release and related documents

Asia's insatiable demand for coal plays havoc with climate goals

Ambrose Evans Pritchard, The Daily Telegraph
“Coal met nearly half the rise in global energy demand during the first decade of the 21st Century,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA). Wind, solar, and gas have yet to change the overall picture.

The IEA said “insatiable demand” from Asia’s rising powers will gobble up a further 1bn tonnes each year by 2017, equal to the entire consumption of the US and Russia today. “If no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade,” it said...

“The situation is utterly dire,” said Jeremy Leggett, head of the UK Task Force on Peak Energy and Climate Change. “The window over the next decade is absolutely crucial. The danger threshold is a two-degree rise in average temperatures above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. We’re currently on track for a rise of six degrees. The cognoscenti in the scientific world are terrified,” he said...
(18 December 2012)

Will Colleges Kick Coal out of Their Stockings?

Kate Sheppard and Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones
Can college students reshape energy politics in the US by reforming their colleges' endowments? That's the hope of idealistic students at 189 different campuses across the country who have launched campaigns to encourage their school administrators and trustees to dump all their investments in fossil fuels. The campaign, the students say, gives them a direct check on the power of the oil, coal and gas industries, which they hope will have broader effects nationwide. "We were feeling, like the rest of the climate movement, pretty frustrated with the political situation in the US," said Alli Welton, a sophomore at Harvard and the co-coordinator of the school's divestment campaign. "We felt that fossil fuel corporations just had too much control over Congress, and it was really hard to see how we could overcome that barrier." "Divestment was really exciting," continued Welton, a native of Washington state studying the history of science. "It was striking directly at the fossil fuel companies themselves, instead of going at their proxies in Congress. "...
(19 December 2012)

Editorial Notes: Readers may want to revist this article by Post Carbon Fellows Richard Heinberg and David Fridley

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