Thermal coal is the filthiest fossil fuel on the planet, a remnant of the nineteenth century that finds no place in today’s world. However, thermal coal has witnessed a comeback this year, which means danger for a planet that relies on us to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
Canada continues to contribute to the global environmental crisis by exporting millions of tonnes of dirty coal through its waterways each year to be burned elsewhere. At the same time, coal-producing economies are fueling a global rush for coal at a critical juncture in our transition away from fossil fuels.
The world’s addiction to a fuel supply that is so damaging to our environment and health appears to be as intense as it has ever been. And the research indicates that if we do not dramatically reduce our emissions this generation, we will face climate disaster.
We must never lose hope that a better future is equally possible. The desire for a secure and environmentally friendly future for everyone on this planet should be even more pressing.
The IPCC’s most recent report warns that humanity’s window of opportunity to avoid a climate disaster is soon closing. Governments must follow the IPCC’s warning and implement all viable solutions immediately to cut greenhouse emissions and save the planet’s future.
If we are serious about addressing climate change, the Canadian government cannot continue to ship megatons of thermal coal for the rest of the decade. That is why we must urge the national government to limit thermal coal shipments entirely by 2023.
Coal combustion not only contributes to increased pollution but also harms people’s health. Coal-plant air pollution has been related to chronic cardiovascular and respiratory problems, as well as a variety of acute conditions. There is no reason to rely on thermal coal when there are other affordable, renewable, and clean energy sources available.