The Guardian reported that Milton Catelin, president of the World Coal Association, has responded to a speech made by Christiana Figueres at the International Coal & Climate Summit by saying that she is missing “some of the fundamentals about the energy sector.”
Figueres had told attendees that the coal industry needs to change “rapidly and dramatically.”
As quoted in the market news:
Catelin equated Figueres’ call for the closure of older coal power stations to telling her home country of Costa Rica it could no longer have access to electricity: ‘to suggest that you can close all subcritical [coal-fired] plants tomorrow totally ignores reality,’ he said.
‘She comes from a perspective where the only challenge in the world today is global warming,’ he said. ‘I think what we say is there’s more than one challenge – other things are almost as important or equally important, such as global poverty and the need to maintain economic development.’
Meanwhile, he said, moves by Poland, Australia and Canada to push back against ambitious climate policies, reflected a ‘wall of reality’.
‘We’re not denying there are negative aspects from the burning of coal, but the figures people talk about in terms of deaths from coal burning, you have to weigh those against what are the benefits of coal burning,’ he said.