World Coal Association rebrands as FutureCoal, seeks tech intervention for reliable, affordable energy

Published - November 20, 2023 09:01 pm IST - MUMBAI 

After 38 years of existence, the World Coal Association (WCA) has rebranded itself as FutureCoal – The Global Alliance for Sustainable Coal. The entity has sought technological intervention for sustainable usage of coal reserves for reliable and affordable supply of energy to a vast majority of the world’s population.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, FutureCoal’s Chief Executive Michelle Manook said the change was in response to a call from coal and allied sectors to modernise and unite under a common purpose. FutureCoal said it would now open its doors representing major and strategic players across the coal value chain.  The organisation advocated for an all inclusive fuel and technology international policy framework to support the sovereign rights of all coal producing and consuming nations and those nations and stakeholders that genuinely sought to support them. “For too long, our global coal value chain has allowed anti-coal sentiment to dominate and fragment us, which has resulted in a lowering of the global coal IQ. This has diminished the capacity and progress of many vulnerable developing and emerging nations, but also now we see, those of some developed nations,” Ms. Manook said.  “FutureCoal may seem bold to some, but for many it is simply representative of the reality we are confronted with. The total contribution of coal to our modern society and the growing global population should neither be dismissed nor disregarded,” she said. “Coal and more specifically, a wider definition of abated coal solutions exists and will be needed in any energy transition. This critical resource is a legitimate participant in both economic development and emissions abatement,” she added.   The FutureCoal Global Alliance said it would embed this transformation through Sustainable Coal Stewardship (SCS).  The SCS platform allows coal-based economies such as India and China and like-minded nations, and corporations to form collaborations to advance a progressive and technology solutions-led international coal value chain industry.  Ms. Manook said that the total contribution made by the coal value chain in sectors including power, steel, cement, aluminium, chemicals, and renewables infrastructure was in the order of hundreds of billions and an interconnected global supply chain.  “This cannot be ignored, but can only be equally secured by our value chain, acknowledging that change must occur. If we are to be responsible, then we need to be inclusive and unite under a common purpose,” she said.

“We know that we must emerge and demonstrate a modernised, innovative and technology led united coal value chain, focused on continuing to make a substantial future contribution to people’s lives and livelihoods.”

“Many coal producing and consuming nations, governments, industry and investors have signalled their intent to be officially associated with and join the FutureCoal global organisation,” she said. FutureCoal Chairman July Ndlovu said, “The platform for collaboration, in the best interests of our global community, now exists in FutureCoal. The leaders of this new legacy understand that this is our responsibility to the future. That this future is before us. And that this future is now.”

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