Coal Atlas - Facts and Figures on a Fossil Fuel

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Coal was, and still is, the fuel of industrialization and global economic growth. Though its negative consequences for humans and nature outweigh its economic benefits. We hope that our Coal Atlas will spur the international campaign to phase out the use of coal.

Graphic "Like there is no tomorrow"
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Digging up coal and using it to generate electricity churns out emissions that intensify the greenhouse effect. Coal is one of the biggest sources of climate change. A chapter from the Coal Atlas.

Global demand for coal is still rising: EU member states have been reluctant to take action against coal projects and continue to subsidize coal related business with almost 10 billion euros per year. King Coal also generates 43 percent of Germany’s total energy.

Our Coal Atlas contains the latest facts and figures on the use of coal and its environmental and social consequences. With more than 60 detailed graphics, the atlas illustrates the coal industry’s impact on nature, health, labour, human rights and politics.

Graphic "Big money, small future"
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Digging mines, building power plants and providing infrastructure cost billions. Many countries cannot afford the investments; credit agencies and multilateral and private banks are glad to step in.

Outcut from the graphic "Not airtight"
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With the promise of “clean coal”, the industry intends to store carbon dioxide underground. However, this method of dealing with the climate crisis fails for both technical and economic reasons.

More on coal and climate change

Greening the Heartlands of Coal in Europe

Germany’s energy transition, or Energiewende, has been a success story thus far in terms of renewable electricity production (especially solar PV and onshore wind), technological innovation, job creation, and citizen involvement in clean-energy generation, among other areas. Yet there is room for improvement.

Further publications

The transformation of economic growth towards a lower dependency on fossil fuels and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for the feasibility of a successful global climate strategy. A study by DIW Econ.