Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t DailyCaller – Former UN climate chief Yvo de Boer has defended the use of climate finance to fund the construction of coal generators – a position which reportedly puts de Boer at odds with his successor, Christiana Figueres.
According to de Boer;
Coal will be a “necessary part of the energy mix for decades to come,” de Boer said on the sidelines of a sustainable cities conference in Seoul.
The polluting but cheap fuel is a “logical choice” for emerging economies like India, China and South Africa.
“You really have to be able to offer these countries an economically viable alternative, before you begin to rule out coal,” he said.
De Boer is a green, a strong supporter of carbon pricing. But his position makes a lot more sense, than the position of greens who refuse to consider coal, under any circumstances.
In the absence of viable alternatives, coal generators will be constructed. Nobody can stop this. The desire of poor people to give their children a better, more industrialised future is irrepressible. The most that greens can hope to do, given the current available technology options, is to help countries intent on building coal generators to use the most advanced technology available.
Converting a coal generator to use supercritical steam technology improves efficiency by 15% – a potentially colossal reduction in CO2 emissions, if this technology was deployed worldwide. But building a supercritical generator is expensive, it involves reliably containing pressures in excess of 3200 PSI – which in turn requires access to the best technology available.
If you are someone who is concerned about CO2 emissions, the goal is surely to keep emissions to a minimum – even if that sometimes means embracing advanced coal technology.
The following is a video of de Boer defending the use of coal, to alleviate poverty.