A world that is tackling climate change is a world that needs less coal, not more. A world moving toward 100 percent renewable energy needs fewer coal mines, not more. More mines means more coal, lower coal prices and less renewable energy.
Yet the coal industry continues to expand in many parts of the world. Countries like Australia and Indonesia intend to increase their exports of coal and are planning massive new coal mines. Their ambitions are incompatible with the world’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A global moratorium on new coal mines is needed. Coal companies argue that stopping any particular mine makes little difference - as an equivalent mine will just be built in its place in another state or another country. Only by acting together can this dilemma be overcome.