The World Coal Association wants to change the game - calling for a closer look at “clean coal” technologies to let fossil fuels power the Earth.

The WCA says that coal is still needed by most of the world, but they concede that carbon emissions must be reduced.

Coal is burned for roughly half of the planet’s total energy use right now, and the International Energy Agency predicts that figure will grow by 17 per cent in the next twenty years.

The WCA says ideas such as “high efficiency, low emissions” (HELE) coal plants, pre-combustion capture, post-combustion capture, and oxy-fuel combustion, will let coal burn longer, and with less CO2 emissions.

The group has launched the Platform for Accelerating Coal Efficiency (PACE) to promote the plans.

“PACE’s vision is for the most efficient power plant technology possible to be deployed when coal plants are built,” says WCA acting chief executive, Benjamin Sporton.

“PACE’s objective is to raise the global average efficiency of coal-fired power plants and so minimise CO2emissions, whilst maintaining legitimate economic development and poverty alleviation efforts.”

Unsurprisingly, the World Coal Association is strongly opposed to the fossil fuel divestment movement, which has seen many large institutions ditch stocks in carbon-heavy resources.

“Calls for divestment ignore the global role played by coal and the potential offered by HELE and CCUS technologies,” Sporton said.

“It is essential that responsible investors actively engage with the coal industry.

“All low emission technologies are needed to meet climate targets. We cannot meet our energy needs, tackle energy poverty and reduce global emissions without utilising all options available to us, including low emissions coal.”