Clean Coal And The Transformation Of Society

Organisation: Global CCS Institute, International Energy Agency (IEA)

The OECD's so-called "oil and energy watchdog agency", the International Energy Agency (IEA) continues to claim, firstly, that CO2 sequestration and deep underground storage or other disposal - called CCS - is a vital and obligatory energy revolution for all countries, due to the anthropogenic global warming crisis. Secondly it claims that CCS can be made a technological and industrial reality but will not "significantly harm the economy" or create the need for an unprecedented transformation of both the economy and society. This policy quest almost exclusively concerns coal energy, especially for power generation, iron and steel, and cement production. The "shock statistic" is that currently known, economically exploitable coal reserves imply that 11 000 billion tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases (11 000 GtCO2) could be emitted, if these coal resources were fully consumed. This is about 370 years of current annual human-source CO2 emissions. Currently uneconomic coal resources can at least double those which can be presently exploited. Metahne hydrate exploitation wolud likely add at least as much again. Through a long, complex series of in-house reviews and changed goals, depending on highly varied academic opinions, new results from climate science research, and flexible political or media attitudes to global warming, the IEA has since about 2009 hit on its present published goal for limiting the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is a limit of 450 ppm (450 parts per million or 0.045%) to be achieved by about 2040-2045. The current CO2 concentration is about 385 ppm. Recent growth of CO2 concentrations has run at about 1 ppm to 1.5 ppm per year. Growth rates of CO2 in the atmosphere are a highly controversial issue: IEA reports and publications take the alarmist, high end of estimated growth rates.