Anthony Hobley interviews Mark Fulton Founder, ETA and Advisor to Carbon Tracker, on his report “Thermal Coal in Asia: Stopping the juggernaut”.

This study pulls together key sources to show that both China (by 2020) and India (in the 2030s) will exceed their IEA ETP 2DS annual carbon budgets. Furthermore, without a massive scale-up in renewable energy right now and the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) over time in key geographic areas (particularly China), the total carbon budget up to 2050 will also be exceeded in the 2030s. These conclusions are based on existing and “under construction” thermal coal power plants, yet even if no additional power plants are constructed, the budget would still not be met.

Consequently, the research report calls for action: (1) to reform electricity markets so that low cost renewables are dispatched first; (2) to extend robust moratoriums on new coal power plants; (3) to cap longer-term coal consumption and emissions in the power sector in the context of carbon markets.

Carbon Tracker has contributed the carbon budget analysis and the paper cites previous studies on unneeded carbon from “Danger Zone” as well as our recent publication on renewable energy costs “The End of the Load for Coal and Gas”.

A summary for policy makers can be found here

as well as the full research paper here.