#2: Coal – Part Two

July 24, 2008
by phil
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300-350_2_thumbnail_ayast1Despite James Hansen’s personal plea to Prime Minister Gordon Brown last December to take a leadership role in initiating a global moratorium against unabated coal, the UK government’s Department for Business currently looks likely to grant permission to a new series of coal-fired power stations that are “Carbon Capture Ready”. We discuss what this means and why it’s not good enough with Dr Keith Allott, Head of WWF-UK’s Climate Change Campaign who commissioned a report recently exploring these questions.

We requested an interview with the Department of Business but had to make do with a written statement which explains that the UK is relying on the highly problematic and inadequate EU Emissions Trading Scheme to solve the problem.

Meanwhile in the US, the tide is turning against coal at the grassroots, state and even the federal levels – 59 applications for coal-fired power plants were cancelled, abandoned or put on hold in 2007 and there is a bill going through Congress to put a moratorium on new unabated coal developments. We speak to Mike Ewall of the Energy Justice Network who has played a key role in supporting and connecting up the grassroots campaigners who have been doggedly winning on a case by case basis.

We close the programme with a taster from a landmark speech made by Al Gore last week, where he suggests the US should respond to climate change with the due urgency the science now implies. He lays down a “moon landing” style challenge for the US to power itself by renewable energy within just ten years.

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