The Ecologist


Coal: 1/25 of 175
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India's coal war heats up

Nick Meynen

13th October, 2016

There are 48 mapped struggles against the fossil fuel industry in India And whilst families run from justice for trying to protect their lands, it's the coal mining companies and police chiefs that should be brought to justice writes NICK MEYNEN more...
The Drax coal and biomass fired power station in North Yorkshire, one the UK's biggest point source emitters of greenhouse gases. Photo: Andrew Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

#AxeDrax: campaigners unite for climate justice against coal and biofueled deforestation

Almuth Ernsting

18th October 2016

The Drax power station in North Yorkshire is among Britain's greatest greenhouse gas emitters, writes Almuth Ernsting. Not only is it burning some 6 million tonnes of coal every year, it is also burning its way through forests in the USA and other countries as it converts to biomass-fired units, rewarded by £1.3 million a day in subsidies. Join the #AxeDrax protest this weekend! more...
Behind the beach and dunes of Druridge Bay, planning permission for a 350 hectare opencast coal mine has been granted. But if turned into a solar power farm, the same land would produce as much electricity as the coal after 70 years. Photo: Doug Belshaw v

Solar on the best UK sites is competitive with cheap coal

Chris Goodall

15th July 2016

Last week a massive 350 hectare open cast coal mine at Druridge Bay took an important step towards winning panning permission. This got Chris Goodall wondering: what if the land was turned into a solar farm instead? His surprise discovery: solar power on England's south coast already costs no more than coal - and it's only getting cheaper. more...
Prime Minister David Cameron visiting an IGas site in Gainsborough on 13th January 2014. Photo: Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK fracking policy founded on scientific fraud, misrepresentation and prevarication

Nick Cowern

15th June 2016

The key study that justifies the Government's claim that fracking is a climate change 'solution' is based on serious scientific errors, writes Nick Cowern. Not only has the Government failed to correct them, but it is now delaying the publication of a new official report that would reveal the truth - that fracking is considerably worse for the world's climate than coal. more...
A small settlement in Bangladesh's Sundarbans, which extends into India to make the world's greatest mangrove forest - a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Area that is home for both people and countless wildlife species. Photo: Marufish via Flickr (CC BY-S

Exim Bank of India - stop support for the Rampal Coal Power plant!

Johan Frijns / Banktrack

26th May 2016

The Rampal coal power plant in Bangladesh, near the world's greatest mangrove forest, is a deeply misconceived project that must be abandoned, writes Johan Frijns in this Open Letter to the Exim Bank of India - which is planning to finance its construction. It would severely damage the precious local environment and wildlife, while adding to global climate change and sea level rise. more...
On 15th August 2015 climate protestors in Germany occupied and closed down a massive open pit coal mine in their 'Ende Gelände' action. Photo: Tim Wagner / via Flickr (CC BY).

Reclaim the power! Progress towards a fossil-free UK

Guy Shrubsole

29th April 2016

Momentum is gathering behind the UK's transition to a fossil free society, writes Guy Shrubsole. We know we need to leave at least 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avert catastrophic climate change. Here's a quick run-down of progress to date - and the key upcoming fights, including an invasion of the UK's biggest coal mine this weekend. more...
From front cover of 'Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming' by Andreas Malm (Verso Books).

Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming

Irma Allen

27th April 2016

We all know that coal and steam vanquished over water power in Britain's - and the world's - industrial revolution, writes Irma Allen. But as Andreas Malm sets out in his fascinating new book, the deciding factors in that victory were the unconstrained mastery over people and nature that coal provided mill owners. And so the model was set for the fossil age that may only now be coming to an end. more...
Ffos-Y-Fran open cast mine, Merthyr Tydfil. Photo: Caradog Llywelyn via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Flesh against fossil fuels: let's shut down the UK's largest coal mine!

A Climate Activist

18th April 2016

Next month thousands will gather in Wales to shut down the UK's open cast coal mine at Ffos­y­fran, whose 3,500 acres abut both Merthyr Tydfil, one of Britain's most deprived communities, and the glorious Brecon Beacons national park. It will be one of dozens of coordinated actions across the UK, and around the world, to bring the age of coal to the rapid end it so richly deserves. more...
A surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming. This type of  large-scale extraction is exactly what the residents of Montana wanted to avoid. Photo: Greg Goebel via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA)

People power: how Montana stopped the biggest coal mine in North America

Nick Engelfried

29th March 2016

Campaigners are celebrating after defeating plans to build America’s largest open pit coal mine, writes Nick Engelfriend. In an epic 'David and Goliath' battle, Montana activists challenged the project, and all the politicians and businessmen that supported it, with fierce opposition, protests and demonstrations. The outcome spells hope for all in the fight against dirty energy. more...
Peoples' Representatives marching to Malacañang to confer the 'King Coal Award to President Noynoy Aquino, for his approval of 59 coal plants in the Philippines; 20th October 2015. Photo: AC Dimatatac / via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Climate hypocrisy: JP Morgan's empty promises on coal

Assaad Razzouk

24th March 2016

JP Morgan's announcement that it's pulling out of coal is purest doublespeak, writes Assaad Razzouk. But it's not the only financier to engage in climate hypocrisy, as banks prepare to lend $5 trillion to build 2,440 new coal power stations. To deliver the Paris Agreement they - and the loans that would finance them - must be cancelled. more...
Aberthaw power station and adjacent cement works rise above the South Wales countryside. Photo: Ben Salter via Flickr (CC BY).

From pit mines to power plants, Wales must lead the UK out of coal

Gareth Clubb / FoE Cymru.

29th February 2016

Wales should lead the UK in bringing an end to the entire coal industry from opencast mining to highly polluting power stations, writes Gareth Clubb. A new report by Friends of the Earth Cymru shows the Aberthaw plant alone imposes social and environmental costs of nearly £1 billion per year on the country and global climate. more...
Landscape in South Wales, near Varteg, scarred by slag heaps from deep coal mining. Now coal mining companies want to start all over again with open pit mines. Photo: Nicholas Mutton via (CC BY-SA).

Coal companies trying to revive 'zombie' open cast mines in Wales

Guy Shrubsole / Greenpeace Energydesk

24th February 2016

A tangle of undercapitalised companies are coming forward to cash in on old deep coal mines in Wales, writes Guy Shrubsole - by digging them all out from above from huge open cast pits. But local communities, alarmed at the noise, pollution and destruction of landscape, increasingly see coal as an industry that's best consigned to the scrapheap. more...

Coal: 1/25 of 175
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Wind turbines in Iowa, USA, one of the states that's leading the way on wind energy. Photo: Don Graham via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Supreme Court can't hold back the renewable energy revolution!

Linda Pentz Gunter

19th February 2016

The attempt by the US Supreme Court to stall the White House Clean Power Plan is being thwarted on the ground, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. The numbers show that new renewable energy installation around the US is outpacing even natural gas - leaving coal in the dust, and new nuclear at a big round zero. more...
Sand dunes and beach at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, where a huge new opencast coal mine is planned. Photo: Fiona in Eden via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No coal, no fracking: end fossil fuel production on UK soil by 2020!

Guy Shrubsole / Friends of the Earth

16th February 2016

The government makes bold claims about tackling climate change and phasing out coal power stations, writes Guy Shrubsole. Yet it's 'relaxed' about two huge new coal mines that would produce ten million tonnes of coal, blighting landscapes and afflicting the health of vulnerable communities. It's time to say no to all onshore fossil fuel production. more...
Look, no smoke! London's Battersea power station was closed in 1983 and survives only as an architectural icon. Will all coal power stations end up like this? Photo: Mark Colliton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Fossil fuels a bad bet due to market changes, investors warned

Paul Brown

16th February 2016

The ever-falling cost of renewable energy could leave investors in coal, gas and oil seriously out of pocket as demand for fossil fuels falls away, writes Paul Brown. In the wake of the Paris Agreement and shrinking markets in major importing countries, the smart money is moving into renewables. more...
Installation of solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the Hongqiao Passenger Rail Terminal in Shanghai, China. Photo: Jiri Rezac / The Climate Group via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

China's renewables drive down CO2 emissions

Lauri Myllyvirta / Greenpeace Energydesk

21st January 2016

China's 2015 carbon emissions fell for the second year running, by an amount equal to all of Poland's, while total power consumption increased, writes Lauri Myllyvirta. Credit goes to the massive expansion in renewable energy, with a record-breaking 47GW of wind and solar capacity added. more...
The Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, which supplies coal to UK power statins including Drax in Yorkshire. Photo: Hour.poing.

Ditch coal now! The global destruction caused by the UK's coal power generation

Anne Harris

28th January 2016

The UK's coal burn is not just having a huge impact on climate, writes Anne Harris. It's also devastating communities in the UK, Russia, Colombia and other nations that supply our coal power stations. Those impacted are doing their best to resist the mining companies that are destroying their land, stealing their homes and polluting their air and water. But they need our help! more...
Chart 1: Electrical power by source, June 2015. Image: Grant Wilson /

2015: Renewable power breaks British records

Grant Wilson, University of Sheffield

18th January 2016

Wind, solar and hydro together generated 14.6% of Britain's electrical energy in 2015, the highest ever, writes Grant Wilson. They also peaked at 22% of electricity over the week of Christmas - another British record. more...
Coal mine in Datong, Shanxi province, one of China's main  coal mining provinces. Photo: Michael Chu via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

China clamps down on coal mining

Kieran Cooke

4th January 2015

Beijing has called a halt to new coal mines and will close hundreds of existing operations, writes Kieran Cooke. The move reflects the slowing economy, falling energy demand, concerns over air pollution and climate change, and the massive rollout of renewables. more...
From small beginnings ... local barefoot solar engineer cleaning PV panels in village outside Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, in December 2008. Photo: Knut-Erik Helle via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

India: solar head to head with coal, says KPMG, and getting cheaper all the time

Chris Goodall

3rd January 2015

A KPMG study shows that the cost of solar power in India, revealed by public auctions, is barely half a cent above that of cheap local coal , writes Chris Goodall, with generators bids falling well below 5p (UK) / 7¢ (US) per kWh. The idea put about at COP21 that India and other poor but sunny countries need coal to develop their economies is fast running out of steam. more...
Climate protest at the Banks coal mine on Matt Ridley's estate. Photo: Brendan Montague.

Matt Ridley coal mine hit with £100,000 climate protest bill

Brendan Montague /

20th December 2015

Protestors who closed down the coal mine on climate change denier Matt Ridley's estate faced a claim of £100,000 in losses, writes Brendan Montague. But a judge cut that down by over 90% while declaring the eight defendants of 'impeccable character'. more...
Blockading Matt Ridley's coal mine. Photo:

Coal protesters must be Matt Ridley's guilty consience

T / End Coal Now

20th December 2015

The coal profits that fill Matt Ridley's bank account come wet with the blood of those killed and displaced by the climate disaster his mines contribute to, writes T. If hgis consicence is no longer functioning, then others must step into that role to confront him with the evil that he is doing. more...
It's not just the climate: the Belyando River, which drains much of the Galilee Basin, will never be the same again if the water-guzzling coal mining goes ahead. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance via Flickr (CC BY).

After COP21, Australia's moment in history: will it ban the Carmichael coal mine?

Justine Bell, The University of Queensland

18th December 2015

The Paris Agreement is facing its first big test in Queensland, Australia, writes Justine Bell. After a long process beset by legal challenges, the massive Carmichael coal mine is inching closer to approval - which would open up the entire 250,000 Galilee basin and its 28 billion tonnes of coal to exploitation. Both state and federal governments have the power to ban it. But will they? more...
Tiger cub on the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Photo: Arindam Bhattacharya via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Coal plant threatens world's largest mangrove forest - and Bangladesh's future

Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken

10th December 2015

As COP21 reaches its endgame, there are plans to build 2,440 coal-fired power plants around the world, write Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken. Their completion would send global temperatures, and sea levels, soaring. Yet Bangladesh, the world's most 'climate vulnerable' large country, has plans for a 1.3GW coal power plant on the fringes of its World Heritage coastal wetlands. more...
The UK government is lavishing billions of pounds of subsidies on North Sea gas and oil - while cutting renewable energy to the bone. Photo: Thistle Alpha oil rig in the North Sea roughly halfway between the Shetland islands and Norway by snapper via Flic

COP21: Time to end fossil fuel subsidies!

Tony Juniper

30th November 2015

The theme at COP21 today has been the urgent need to cut fossil fuel subsidies that favour dirty energy over renewables, writes Tony Juniper. Sadly the UK is setting all the wrong examples - ramping up its spending on fossil fuels, while slashing its much smaller renewable energy budgets. more...


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