Today, a suite of environmental, social justice, and health advocates from around the world launched Endcoal.org, a resource for global communities, activists, students, and researchers who want to learn more about the problems with coal and the solutions to meet global energy needs
The website includes resources on the nexus between coal and climate, water, health, finance and economics, and mining as well as updates on international coal activism. It also highlights blogs from some of the leading international writers and activists on coal -- including the Sierra Club.
The site also hosts an interactive map and database that tracks all planned coal plants around the world since 2010. The Coal Plant Tracker, developed by CoalSwarm, allows the user to find out how many coal plants are planned in their country, track stages of development, and access more detailed information on the projects. Currently 284-gigawatts of coal plants are under construction and an additional 1,214-gigawatts have been proposed in 62 countries around the world.
But everywhere there is coal, communities also face devastating health effects and often violence and intimidation at the hands of companies or local officials. This, in turn, has fostered a global movement to stop deadly new coal plants and mines and pressure governments and institutions to take action to end our dependence on coal.
In the European Union, 109 proposed coal-fired power plants have been defeated. Since China’s air pollution crisis, mainly due to massive coal burning, 10 of China’s 34 provinces have banned the construction of new coal-fired power plants. Coal consumption in China dropped for the first time ever in the first three quarters of 2014, which indicates that China has decoupled its gross domestic product growth from coal growth.
Coal burning in the U.S. actually peaked in 2007 and has dropped by an astonishing 21 percent since. U.S. groups -- including the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign -- have helped retire 179 coal-fired power plants, and more than 177 existing plants are slated for retirement.
Meanwhile, international financial institutions -- such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank -- have adopted policies restricting or eliminating support for coal-fired power plants.
While the movement to stop coal is growing, the coal industry is relentless in its push to mine and burn more coal. Endcoal.org seeks to help the global coal movement push back and move toward a clean energy future.
--Nicole Ghio, Sierra Club International Climate Program