Current and future struggles to eliminate coal

Zhao, Stephen and Alexandroff, Alan (2019). Current and future struggles to eliminate coal. Energy Policy, 129 pp. 511–520.



Reductions in coal use necessary to meet the objective of keeping global temperature increase well under 2.0 °C faces serious political economic hurdles. To transition from coal, existing use must be eliminated and new growth in coal consumption must be stymied. Efforts to reduce existing consumption in a speedy manner faces challenges in domestically oriented markets where coal industry coalitions resist anti-coal policy and pursue industry protection. In addition, we identify a serious loophole in coal restraint exercised by a number of the users including: China, Japan and Korea. Continued support for coal capacity expansion abroad in both public and private sectors in these markets appears to reflect the lack of incentives, or sanctions in reining in such external capacity expansion. Such external expansion currently is not counted in nationally determined commitments for the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Paris Agreement). Without greater national political efforts, the necessary reduction in coal use cannot be achieved.

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