Coal and its emissions are a critical issue as the world contends with both the global energy crisis and the climate crisis. Coal in Net Zero Transitions: Strategies for rapid, secure and people-centred change is a new IEA special report in the World Energy Outlook series. It presents pragmatic, real-world guidance on how policymakers can achieve a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from coal without harming economies or energy security, outlining measures to finance energy transitions and address their social and employment aspects.
All long-term IEA scenarios that meet international climate goals feature a rapid decline in global coal emissions. Without this, it will be impossible to avoid severe impacts from a changing climate. However, the world is currently far from heading decisively in this direction. Renewable energy options are the most cost-effective new sources of electricity generation in most markets, but there are still multiple challenges in reducing emissions from the existing global fleet of coal-fired power plants.
This special report explores the options for the power sector and other parts of the economy where coal plays a notable role. It examines a range of policy and technology areas, including the potential for carbon capture, utilisation and storage. And it addresses investment and financing needs, taking into account the importance of ensuring reliable and affordable energy supplies and of tackling the social consequences of change.