EURACOAL Position Paper on “A Clean Planet for All”

Key Points
  • The climate challenge requires global solutions with similar ambitions everywhere.
  • A carbon-neutral EU economy by 2050 is highly ambitious: the necessary technologies need to be developed and deployed, and carbon-leakage risks need to be clearly addressed.
  • Without large-scale energy storage, conventional thermal power generation will still be needed.
  • To gain public support and to maintain EU competitiveness, solutions have to be affordable.
  • EU member states should remain free to choose their own (different) energy mixes.

Coal’s contribution today:
  • The EU coal sector has reduced its CO2 emissions by over 47% since 1990, thus helping to meet targets in the UNFCCC Paris agreement. No other sector has done as much.
  • The extraction and use of coal is linked to over 200 000 high-quality, well-paid direct jobs, as well as indirect jobs at suppliers.
  • Coal contributes to affordable and competitive electricity prices and thereby to EU prosperity, reinforcing the EU as a place to do business.
Coal’s contribution tomorrow:
  • Coal is a partner for electricity generation from renewables: existing coal power plants respond flexibly to the ups and downs of wind and solar power.
  • Under the EU ETS, the coal sector will continue to reduce its emissions, cost-effectively. Accordingly, the EU emissions trading system should remain the only instrument used to drive down CO2 emissions in the power sector.
Coal’s contribution the day after tomorrow:
  • EURACOAL supports a climate and energy policy based on accelerated technological progress through near-term research, innovation and entrepreneurship within a non-discriminatory, technology-neutral, competitive market place that delivers a wide portfolio of sustainable, low-carbon solutions which consumers are willing to pay for.
  • Coal’s contribution to progress will be reliable and affordable electricity from power plants that are now cleaner than ever before. The coal sector is already pushing forward new energy storage options; new processes that supply clean hydrogen; and a circular-carbon economy that allows any carbon-based material, including plastic wastes and woody biomass, to be recycled into new products, without carbon emissions.

Download the full EURACOAL position paper here.