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2018-11-24. The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?

posted Nov 26, 2018, 9:45 AM by Alan Gould
By Somini Sengupta, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/climate/coal-global-warming.html] For GSS Energy Use chapter 4. Excerpt: ...Home to half the world’s population, Asia accounts for three-fourths of global coal consumption today. More important, it accounts for more than three-fourths of coal plants that are either under construction or in the planning stages — a whopping 1,200 of them, according to Urgewald, a German advocacy group that tracks coal development. Heffa Schücking, who heads Urgewald, called those plants “an assault on the Paris [agreement] goals.” Indonesia is digging more coal. Vietnam is clearing ground for new coal-fired power plants. Japan, reeling from 2011 nuclear plant disaster, has resurrected coal. The world’s juggernaut, though, is China. The country consumes half the world’s coal. More than 4.3 million Chinese are employed in the country’s coal mines. China has added 40 percent of the world’s coal capacity since 2002, a huge increase for just 16 years. ...The economics, and the political calculus, are very different in the world’s biggest democracy: India, population 1.3 billion. Ajay Mishra, the career civil servant in charge of energy in the central Indian state of Telangana, knows firsthand. Five years ago, he said, daily power cuts cursed his state. ...Telangana now has round-the-clock electricity. Its farmers get it free to pump water. It sweetens the re-election bid of Telangana’s top elected official, K. Chandrashekar Rao, in state polls later this year. “We have coal,” Mr. Mishra said. “We are producing more every year. For the next 100 years we have it.”...