FutureCoal welcomes COP28’s recognition of the role that abated coal and carbon capture technologies will play in lowering global emissions but questions whether there is genuine acceptance of the multiple pathways to decarbonisation ahead of next year’s summit in Azerbaijan.
“Fossil fuels are finite so of course there is going to be a transition away from them at some point. Let’s not state the obvious. Let’s rather focus on ensuring that any transition is not prejudiced by antiquated views of a coal industry that was, not an industry that is, and needs to be.”
Chief Executive Michelle Manook said the final climate summit statement in Dubai, if genuine in its intent, is an endorsement of FutureCoal’s Sustainable Coal Stewardship, a set of principles that embrace the use of existing technologies and innovation to ensure the entire coal value chain will play a significant role in lowering emissions.
“Abatement cannot be limited in its definition. The modern coal value chain has a wide and ever-growing array of applications and technologies that can be deployed in combustion and beyond combustion. These applications don’t just serve the environment, they serve to better the lives and livelihoods of billions.”
The divide between Western nations and developing economies at COP28 over the pace of the energy transition marked an important inflection point in the global energy debate as the Global South asserted fossil fuels have a vital role to play in their development. This was reflected in COP28’s call for a “just, orderly and equitable” transition.
“COP28 delivered a much-needed reality check about the rights of sovereign nations to make the most appropriate choices for their people. China, India and Japan sent a clear message that abated coal and a wide range of decarbonisation technologies will play a vital role in powering their economies, underwriting energy security and supporting emissions reduction.
“Now everyone must return to deal with their reality, Global North nations included, where the need for fossil fuels can no longer be dismissed.”
Ms Manook noted the significant financial contributions to a Loss and Damage Fund but highlighted the ongoing prejudice against funding for fossil fuel decarbonisation technologies that can play a significant role in lowering global emissions.
“There have been a lot of promises for funding over the years that has been conditional nor materialised. So, we will have to see if developing and emerging nations have legitimately been listened to at this COP28. The first evidence of this will be the establishment of agnostic funding policies based on technology, not ideology,” she said.
“We believe climate science should be left to climate scientists, while decarbonisation must be left to decarbonisation experts. By combining capital and engineering we can use human ingenuity to drive growth in developing economies and lower emissions.”