What’s it like to represent the coal industry at the marrakech climate summit_ _ environment _ the guardian

“It’s a challenging thing,” he admits, smiling. Gas after eating eggs “I’m not a coal person – my background isn’t even in coal. Gas station in spanish But when the opportunity came up to work at the World Coal Association I had to sit down and look at the rational approach on how do we deal with climate change. Electricity font I have always been someone who wants to address climate change.”

At the 2016 climate talks in Paris, he became a literal poster boy for “climate criminals” when a campaign group slapped “wanted” signs for Sporton on lampposts around the city.

This week, Sporton’s association is again being targeted. K electric bill Campaigners on Wednesday delivered a 550,000-name petition to the US delegation asking it to back calls for conflict of interest policies to be enshrined in the UN process.

US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered an impassioned speech to the talks, saying massive investments in expanding coal power “just doesn’t make sense.”

But just like at previous United Nation’s climate talks, Sporton is unapologetically here to defend his industry from a process that could put him out of a job.

So what’s his rationale for wanting to “address climate change” by working for the industry that’s doing more to contribute to the problem than any other?

“When I came to look at it and saw that today 40% of the world’s electricity, 90% of the world’s cement and 70% of the world’s steel all comes from coal… well, then you can’t address the challenge of climate change without looking at the role of coal in that context.

“So, my view is and the view of the association is that coal has to be part of the solution. F gas certification logo Otherwise, you are not going to have a solution.”

Specifically, Sporton offers a list of 22 countries that have improvements in coal power efficiency as part of their plans submitted to the UN to tackle climate change.

Those include some of the world’s biggest emitters, such as China, India and Indonesia and this, Sporton says, gives him a legitimate role. Electricity and magnetism study guide These are the people he spends most time with.

One is to talk about newer coal plants that he says create 30% lower emissions than older ones. Gas 85 vs 87 He says this is a “saving” on emissions. Electricity inside human body Another way to look at these “savings” are to compare it to the close-to-zero emissions from renewables. Electricity invented or discovered Slightly less dirty coal is still coal.

One recent report has suggested that adding any new fossil fuel energy to the world’s economy would blow global warming targets already agreed.

Sporton’s second key talking point is the role of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), for so long now touted as the coal industry’s get out of jail free card.

The concept is that carbon dioxide from burning coal in power plants is captured and then stored indefinitely underground. Gas pressure definition chemistry He mentions an International Energy Agency report on CCS just released.

“Nowhere near enough action is taking place on CCS to meet the 2C target never mind a 1.5C target,” he says. Gas 2016 “Our role is to talk about what we think can be done to help drive more CCS.”

The coal industry has been claiming that large scale CCS is viable for a decade or more, but rather than galloping like a saviour over the horizon, CCS is barely in view.

According to the IEA, there are just 16 large-scale CCS project currently in operation around the world. V gashi Only one is attached to a coal power plant (the rest are attached to natural gas processing and other industrial processes).

Some 12 of those 16 projects don’t simply store the carbon dioxide, but instead use it in the oil industry to push harder-to-get crude out of the ground.

“At the moment, these plants do use the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery,” accepts Sporton. Gas 6 weeks pregnant “Ultimately that’s not the climate answer – you can’t do that.”

The four large scale projects that do store the CO2 are able to lock away 2.6 million tonnes per year. Emitra electricity bill payment To put that into perspective, some of the world’s biggest coal plants would emit that amount in less than three weeks.

Next year, two more CCS projects will be launched attached to coal power plants, but these will also rely on the oil industry using the gas to extract more fossil fuels.

But for an idea of just how long the coal industry has been asking, and receiving public funding to support CCS as a solution, consider this.

According to the IEA, up to the year 2010 CCS had been given about $30bn of public funding commitments. Electricity flow chart Some 22 “large scale” CCS projects have been cancelled since 2010.

But as progress has been slow, governments have scaled back. Grade 9 static electricity test In 2015, the UK government cancelled its £1bn programme. Grade 9 electricity test questions Australia’s CCS programme was once worth A$1.9bn, but is now at just $300m.

A recent report from the Canadian government’s budget office suggested that the regional government-owned SaskPower CCS coal plant could end up costing the taxpayer about three quarters of a billion Canadian dollars over its 30-year life span.

Critics of CCS, of which there are many (including me) point to a legion of problems, one of which is the increase in the cost of power at a time when renewables are getting cheaper all the time.

Sporten says it’s not fair to make comparisons between the SaskPower plant and the cost of renewables, because the coal plant is using “first of its kind technology.” He says the operators think they could build a second plant 30% cheaper after learning a few lessons.

“There will be two more coal-fired CCS plants coming on line in the US next year. Gas definition chemistry They will continue to give us understanding of the technology,” he says.

“We are not where we need to be in terms of the plants, but there are more coming on line. Gas city indiana weather We just had the world’s first steel plant with CCS come on line.”

This is when we should remind ourselves that there are currently more than 7,000 coal plants operating worldwide, with about 700 more under construction.

Sporton is always ready with an answer, as you’d expect from a professional lobbyist for one of the world’s most powerful industries. Gas oil He accepts the science in the IPCC report and will sometimes refer to it.

Earlier this year, one of his associations key members, Peabody Energy, filed for protective bankruptcy. Gas x user reviews The court papers revealed the company had been funding a wide network of groups who push climate science denial.

Another group affiliated with WCA is Euracoal, the “voice of coal” in Europe. Electricity in india In March, Euracoal paid Canadian climate science denier Patrick Moore to deliver a speech to EU members and officials. Electricity and magnetism study guide 8th grade Moore does not accept that greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal cause climate change. Gas tax deduction He says CO2 emissions should instead be “celebrated”.

Does Sporton think this funding of climate science denial from groups associated with his own, is helpful? Perhaps not surprisingly, he would not criticise Peabody or Euracoal in any way.

Another argument that’s put by many coal industry advocates, particularly in Australia and the United States, is that coal is the only way to lift billions of people around the world out of poverty.

But in October, a dozen development groups published a report saying that rather than pulling people out of poverty, a strategy based on coal would make things even worse.

Sporton is willing to concede one point on this. Locate a gas station near me With hundreds of millions of people without electricity access in rural areas, the quickest way to get power to them isn’t through coal.

He says: “One of the easiest ways to deliver energy poverty to the rural poor is to build wind turbines and solar panels because that’s the easiest way to get electricity to them, there and then. Electricity history But ultimately I do think they need to be connected to the grid.”

As we wrap up our interview, a protest is kicking off down the walkway at the talks. Gas tax nj It’s to call for fossil fuel lobbyists to be kicked out.

Sporton adds: “To say we can’t be in the room and talk about the role of the industry and the product in reducing emissions is… A gas is a form of matter that well… trying to wish away coal is not going to be productive.”