According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Climate change harms the poor first and worst.” This is true, because the poor are the most vulnerable and have the least resources with which to adapt. But we often forget that current policies to address global warming make energy much more costly, and that this harms the world’s poor much more.
"Unless we deal with coal, we're not going to be able to deal with climate change," says WIRED contributing editor Charles Mann, whose cover story in the magazine's April issue tackles the tricky issue of 'clean coal.'
Clean coal sounds like an oxymoron: coal-fired plants are responsible for over 70% of the world's carbon dioxide, producing 10.4 billion tons per year, according to Mann. Coal also produces the vast majority of black carbon, the second-biggest contributor to climate change.
This five-part article will outline the primary reasons why CO2 capture and storage (CCS) should form an important part of the global energy mix over the 21st century. In contrast to most advocacy pieces, however, no arguments for technology-forcing policies such as feed-in tariffs or deployment mandates will be presented.
Global collaboration on CCS technology is key to containing CO2
THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT has largely succeeded in vilifying coal usage in America’s power generation systems through their strategic and political alliances, legal challenges and media campaigns. They have a powerful voice and a strong commitment to their cause. Even so, it appears that they have become so consumed with their narrow effort to kill coal in America that they've lost sight of what it will really take to rein in the world’s CO2 emissions.