COP21 and the IEA Clean Coal Centre

Summary of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement of December 2015 aims to hold the average global temperature increase to well below 2C and to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5C. The ability to adapt to climate change should increase, and finance flows should be consistent with a pathway to low emissions of GHG.

The following paragraph highlights the main points which are of relevance to the IEA CCC.

The aim is for GHG emissions to peak as soon as possible and to reduce rapidly after peaking, so a balance between GHG sources and sinks can be reached by the second half of this century. A new mechanism has been established to promote the mitigation of GHG emissions while fostering sustainable development. A goal was established to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change. Adaptation action should include sharing information, good practices and experiences. A Financial Mechanism has been established to help developing countries with mitigation and adaptation. A Technology Mechanism has been introduced to strengthen cooperative action on technology development and transfer, as it is recognised that accelerating, encouraging and enabling innovation is critical. The importance of capacity building for developing countries was also identified to facilitate technology development, dissemination and deployment, and the timely and accurate communication of information, among other aims.


Thus, the aims of the Paris Agreement are ambitious and rely on all parties reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the national level, and on sharing best practice internationally. As an international organisation which disseminates information and analysis on ways to reduce the environmental impact of using coal, the IEA Clean Coal Centre is encouraged by the outcome of COP21. We are particularly interested in the Technology Mechanism in Article 10 which calls on Parties to strengthen cooperative action on technology development and transfer. The IEA CCC thus has a clear role to continue to report on cleaner coal use, and to encourage the uptake of ultra-supercritical technologies where coal-fired plant are being built. The work of the IEA CCC is also compatible with the Adaptation Framework of the Paris Agreement, which seeks the sharing of information, good practices, experiences and lessons learned. For example the IEA CCC has just published the first report of a series on water and coal, which look at the energy-water nexus, and ways to reduce water use when generating power from coal. Thus, while coal is still widely used and there is growing pressure to reduce emissions, the work of the IEA Clean Coal Centre remains as important as ever.