Addressing the 'Coal Renaissance' in a Post-Kyoto World

On Monday, June 13, 2011 at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, Richard Morse of Stanford University will present a colloquium, "Addressing the 'Coal Renaissance' in a Post-Kyoto World."

Coal has been the world's fastest growing source of fossil fuel since 2000, contributing more to global primary energy supplies than any other source of energy.  Yet it is also the world's leading source of CO2 emissions.  As the Kyoto Protocol approaches its end in 2012 and global carbon policy is fragmented into regional efforts, efforts to mitigate global emissions will require taking a hard look at the realities of coal markets and developing pragmatic strategies that don't rely on carbon policy.

Richard Morse of Stanford's Program on Energy and Sustainable Development will discuss the outlook for global carbon policy, how international coal markets are evolving, and what strategies and technologies might realistically be used to reduce emissions from coal.   Discussion of carbon policy will include the latest developments in Europe, China, and the US, and analysis of international coal markets will highlight key issues for the future of Chinese energy consumption.  Arguing that renewable energy in its current state can only address the coal emissions problem at the margin, Morse will consider the portfolio of carbon mitigation options that can operate at scale, including carbon capture and storage (CCS).  Finally, in light of the recent nuclear tragedy in Japan, Morse will discuss with the SLAC community how to evaluate the relative risks of coal and climate change against the risk of nuclear catastrophe.

The talk is free and open to all.