How significant is the coal industry and its impact on global warming?
To help guide our thinking on this a Coal Atlas has been released.
Coal Atlas 2015
The Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth International have published today (18th November, 2015) the first English edition of the Coal Atlas 2015 in Brussels. The Coal Atlas contains the latest facts and figures on the use of coal and its environmental and social consequences. With more than 60 detailed infographics, the atlas illustrates the coal industry’s impact on nature, health, labour, human rights and politics. Moreover, it sheds light on the beneficiaries of coal production and shows the current developments of the sector in China, India, the United States, Russia and Germany.
The atlas is available free in print and online at www.boell.de/coalatlas
Coal contributes more to the climate crisis than any other energy source. In 2014 it was responsible for 14.2 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions. That is 44 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, and more than one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the extraction and burning of coal causes irreversible damages to the environment and to people’s health.
In the EU alone, coal-related health problems cost up to 43 billion euro per year. Other effects of the coal industry include forced removals and repression of local residents.
“The Coal Atlas 2015 proves that there is no such thing as clean coal,” says Jagoda Munic, chair of Friends of the Earth International. She adds: “Europe is still one of the leading coal consumers. Even in 2015, Europe still suffers from devastated landscapes because of huge coal mining projects, especially in Germany, and from toxic emissions in coal-dependent countries such as Poland. The resistance to a coal phase-out in Europe indicates a European Union in the grip of a powerful industrial coal lobby. But the Coal Atlas makes it clear that Europe needs to shift away from its undemocratic, irresponsible and unjust energy system into one that is socially-controlled, climate-safe, and fair.”