Coordinated with the Polish Ministry of Economy, the Warsaw Communiqué’s development has been endorsed by Polish Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechociski and outlines pragmatic solutions addressing the environment while allowing coal to continue as an affordable, abundant and easily accessible energy source.

The Warsaw Communiqué includes a three-step call to action. The first involves the immediate implementation of high-efficiency, low-emissions coal combustion technologies, wherever economically and technically feasible at existing and new power plants to lower greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants globally toward carbon capture utilization and storage technology deployment once demonstrated and commercialized. The second action is for governments to set an ambitious pathway, before COP20, to move the global average efficiency of coal-fired power generation plants to current state-of-the-art levels, while supporting research and development efforts to advance combustion technology. No. 3 calls for development banks to support developing countries in accessing clean coal technologies, including high-efficiency low-emissions coal combustion technologies.

“There are existing technologies that allow coal to be used while minimizing climate impacts,” Catelin added. “These can lower greenhouse gas immediately, highlighting the importance of deploying them as widely and as quickly as possible.”

If new coal-fired generating capacity added between 2000 and 2011 used advanced coal technologies, he noted, cumulative emissions would have been reduced by almost 2 Gigatons (Gt) – or “three times the expected effect of the Kyoto Protocol.”

The WCA urges interested stakeholders to sign onto the Warsaw Communiqué in the run up to the International Coal & Climate Summit in Warsaw, on November 18 and 19. It will be delivered to the president of the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Warsaw, from November 11 to 22.