Coal industry urged to meet tougher environmental standards

SINGAPORE, Jan 30, 2007 (AFP) – The world’s coal industry needs to sharpen up its act in order to meet tougher environmental standards amid increasing global concern over rising greenhouse gas emissions, experts said Tuesday. Mulyono added it was “unavoidable” for Indonesia, a major coal producer and exporter, to market low-grade coal because of domestic and international demand. The call at an industry conference in Singapore came as top experts under the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gathered in Paris to carry out a massive review of the evidence of global warming.

In a 2001 report, the IPCC declared that carbon pollution from burning oil, gas and coal had helped drive atmospheric levels of CO2 to their highest in 420,000 years.

CO2 is the principal “greenhouse gas,” a term that applies to half a dozen gases that linger invisibly in the atmosphere, trapping the Sun’s heat instead of letting it bounce back into space.

“Coal will remain the main source of power at least for the next two decades,” said Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

“However, the pressure from the environmental side is going to increase and the coal industry has to