Coal combustion is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions on the planet. But the fuel isn't going away anytime soon, since demand for it is ballooning in the developing world. So instead of indulging in quixotic visions of a coal-free world, policymakers should focus on supporting new technologies that can reduce how much carbon coal emits.
Listen to Rick Boucher, U.S. representative from Virginia (D), and Ernest J. Moniz, professor of physics at MIT, discuss the current state of clean coal technology and specific climate change legislation under consdideration in Congress.
As U.S. lawmakers debate a cap-and-trade policy to combat climate change,experts say coal will continue to be a major part of the world's energy mix, which will likely complicate efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
As the largest generator of electricity in the United States, China, andIndia and a leading source of carbon emissions, coal will play an important role in energy and climate change policy from local to global levels. New technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration have been touted as cure-alls for the environmental ills of carbon-emitting coal plants. But these technologies like many others may face significant technical and economic hurdles. Join Dr. Moniz, cochair of the recent MIT report “The Future of Coal,” and Representative Boucher to discuss the pivotal role of coal in the global energy and climate change debate.
David Victor and Richard Morse examine the economic and political challenges of managing global reliance on coal and reducing coal emissions, and suggest a three-front focus for new global warming policies.
Elizabeth Martin Perera, a climate policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Alex Farrell, director of UC Berkley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, discuss the merits and challenges of coal-to-liquids as an alternative fuel.
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