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More Than 1,000 New Coal Plants Planned Worldwide, Figures Show


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JL
- 638 days ago - guardian.co.uk
World Resources Institute identifies 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India



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JL A. (275)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 11:13 am


More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show

World Resources Institute identifies 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India

Damian Carrington
The Guardian, Monday 19 November 2012

Coal-burning power station in Beijing, China
A coal-burning power station in Beijing, China - the country is planning to build 363 new coal-fired power plants. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

More than 1,000 coal-fired power plants are being planned worldwide, new research has revealed.

The huge planned expansion comes despite warnings from politicians, scientists and campaigners that the planet's fast-rising carbon emissions must peak within a few years if runaway climate change is to be avoided and that fossil fuel assets risk becoming worthless if international action on global warming moves forward.

Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India. The capacity of the new plants add up to 1,400GW to global greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of adding another China the world's biggest emitter. India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China, which is seeing a slowdown in its coal investments after a vast building programme in the past decade.

A Chinese coal mine

Which countries are planning most coal-fired power plants?

More than 1,000 coal-fired power plants are being planned worldwide, new research has revealed

"This is definitely not in line with a safe climate scenario it would put us on a really dangerous trajectory," said the WRI's Ailun Yang, who compiled the report, considered to be the most comprehensive in the public domain. But she said new emissions limits proposed in the US and a voluntary cap on coal use in China could begin to turn the tide. "These policies would give really strong signals about the risks to the future financial performance of coal of climate policies."

Nick Robins, head of the Climate Change Centre at HSBC, said: "If you think about low-carbon energy only in terms of carbon, then things look tough [in terms of not using coal]. But if you take into account all factors, then dealing with coal [ie not using it] looks a little less difficult."

He cited the increasing replacement of coal with shale gas and renewable energy, tightening air pollution regulations, the gradual cleaning of economies like China's and the increasing scarcity of water, which is needed in large quantities by coal-fired power stations.

"We expect financiers and investors increasingly to include these factors into investment decisions for coal to avoid the threat of stranded assets," Robins said.

The WRI report also found that, after a slight dip during the economic troubles of 2008, the global coal trade has rebounded and rose by 13% in 2010. A structural shift has moved the bulk of the international coal trade from the Atlantic, serving Europe and the US, to the Pacific. China became a net importer of coal in 2009 but the biggest changes are fast-rising imports by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, which all have large numbers of coal-fired plants but produce virtually no coal of their own.

However, Germany, the UK and France remain in the top 10 importers, and coal use rose 4% in 2011 in Europe as prices fell and plants due to close under clean air rules use up their allotted running hours. Indonesia and Australia are the largest coal exporters, with the latter planning to triple its mine and port capacity to almost 1bn tonnes a year.

Many developing countries, such as Guatemala, Cambodia, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal and Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan, are planning new coal-fired plants even when they produce almost no coal at all. "There is a long way to go to raise awareness that you can meet energy needs from sources other than coal," said Yang.

Most new coal-fired plants will be built by Chinese or Indian companies. But new plants have largely been financed by both commercial banks and development banks. JP Morgan Chase has provided more than $16.5bn (10.3bn) for new coal plants over the past six years, followed by Citi ($13.8bn). Barclays ($11.5bn) comes in as the fifth biggest coal backer and the Royal Bank of Scotland ($10.9bn) as the seventh. The Japan Bank for International Co-operation was the biggest development bank ($8.1bn), with the World Bank ($5.3bn) second.

Guy Shrubsole, at Friends of the Earth, said of the WRI report: "This is a scary number of coal-fired plants being planned. It is clear that the vested interests of coal companies are driving this forward and that they will have to be reined in by governments."

In January, the Bank of England was warned that fossil fuel sub-prime assets posed a systemic risk to economic stability, because only 20% of the reserves of the top 100 coal and top 100 oil and gas companies could be burned while keeping the global temperature rise under the internationally agreed limit of 2C.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (61)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 1:12 pm
noted, thanks !
 

Yulan Lawson (156)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 2:10 pm
And the coal is used to melt steel.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 2:46 pm
You are welcome Roger.
 

Terry V. (30)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 5:50 pm

Earth Cry
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 5:56 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.
 

Micheael Kirkbym (85)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:19 pm
Scalar wave energy is the real deal.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:21 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.
 

Faye Swan (23)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 8:59 pm
Scary - I wish everyone would look at solar power options first.
 

Frans Badenhorst (551)
Friday November 23, 2012, 2:17 am
thanks for posting..... this just does not make any sense... really?.... solar - and wind turbine technology is just about sorted?, and hydro-electric power?.... no, we should THINK a little more before we DO
 

Roger M. (0)
Friday November 23, 2012, 3:04 am
I was reading on the BBC the other day about the new popularity of coal in Europe.

Only one reason: it's cheap. Never mind all that climate stuff.

A nightmare.
 

natalie n. (164)
Friday November 23, 2012, 7:28 am
the people running these businesses always get away with murdering the environment. and the government receives monies so they close one eye. its up to the people and and the NGOs to protest and try and make a difference.
 

JL A. (275)
Friday November 23, 2012, 7:56 am
The four of you, Faye, Frans, Roger and Natalie, so clearly express how disconcerting and seemingly illogical these decisions have been--and it may be noteworthy that we only hear about the individual decisions on each coal plant when collectively they sum to such an atrocious number.
You cannot currently send a star to Frans because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Roger because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to natalie because you have done so within the last week.
 

Sandra M Z. (114)
Friday November 23, 2012, 9:11 am
Forward thinking is moving past coal to life supporting energy technologies.
 

Sandra M Z. (114)
Friday November 23, 2012, 9:12 am
Thank you J. L.
 

JL A. (275)
Friday November 23, 2012, 9:20 am
You are welcome Sandra and right that progress should mean alternatives to coal. You cannot currently send a star to Sandra M because you have done so within the last week.
 

Adam I. (25)
Friday November 23, 2012, 9:59 am
Mother Earth does not deserve this.
 

Joanne Dixon (38)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:07 pm
Is there anything we can do, other than weep, which I'm sure we all are doing (some maybe on the inside)?
 

JL A. (275)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:22 pm
Joanne, if we live in an area with one on the report's list, we might be able to generate a local action (e.g., Germany, France) or if we are affiliated with people or groups working with communities in the developing countries, it is possible someone could come up with an alternative--possibly using a microfinance model.
 

Lois Jordan (54)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:38 pm
And we've definitely got to get rid of this "clean coal" lie! There is absolutely no such thing and I'm tired of hearing politicians act like there is. Ditto natural gas. Green energy economy--there IS a better way. Thanks, J.L.
 

JL A. (275)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:49 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Lois because you have done so within the last week.
 

Bharat Prajapati (5)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 1:28 am
beware about co2....
 

John S. (300)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 4:07 am
Noted.
 

Anna M. (18)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 5:42 am
It is a foolish species that commits genocide on itself
 

Ben Oscarsito (353)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:31 am
...We are screwed, period!
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 7:15 am
You cannot currently send a star to Anna because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Ben because you have done so within the last week.
 

Pamela D. (16)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 11:06 am
No more coal! Signed!
 

Robert O. (12)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 12:09 pm
Very upsetting and huge step backwards for progress and a huge step forward toward the planet's ultimate demise. Like I commented on another article, it's best to maximize all the wonderful benefits renewable energy resources can provide and just drop coal, nuclear, etc. altogether and quite while we're behind and while there's still a small shred of hope. Thanks very much J.L. A.
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 12:21 pm
Robert, I also found it upsetting--especially when leaders of at least one country on the list has recently been decrying insufficient effort to address CO2 emissions. You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last week.
 

Melania Padilla (176)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 7:01 pm
This is so wrong! We should be looking for green energy, this is the 21st century!! So sad ;(
 

Carol D. (108)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:10 pm
once again its all about money No one cares about the planet They say they do but its rubbish If the coal wasnt sold to these places they could not use it
 

Klaus Peters (11)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 9:03 am
Sorry, had my say, got bummed out again, I give up.
 

mag.w.d. Aichberger (34)
Wednesday December 5, 2012, 3:29 pm
Case# 1624
Seems, some sorry censored pitiful censored CENSORED (or, possibly though not likely at all: some strange unexplicable phenomenon) has aaAaaaAAaaaaaggGgggGggGggain been very busy deleting my comment(s), unless, of course, they disappeared magicallly. Kind of a very-well-established habit meanwhile. There is something **EXTREMELY** ROTTEN in care2 ...

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==
" I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed. " -- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
==

Case# 1568
Seems, some sorry censored pitiful censored CENSORED (or, possibly though not likely at all: some strange unexplicable phenomenon) has aaAaaaAAaaaaaggGGggGggain been very busy deleting my comment(s), unless, of course, they disappeared magicallly. Kind of a very-well-established habit meanwhile. There is something EXTREMELY ROTTEN in care2 ...

And isn't it .. errr shall we say: fascinatingly remarkable, how (very targeted) someone/thing/whatever here @care2 keeps, for years now --per-sis-tent-ly-- deleting (some) comments (of some users), WHEREAS --in appalling sharp contrast-- care2 has not even managed to delete spam postings when the spammer's profile gets deleted ?
==

" I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed. " -- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


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