Why coal needs to stay in the ground

MCC researcher Michael Jakob talked with the “The Guardian” about his “Nature” comment on the amount of fossil fuel the world can still use.


If a global deal is signed in December to keep most fossil fuels in the ground, then compensating the losers will be key, Michael Jakob, researcher at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) told “The Guardian”. “If you really want to convince developing countries to leave their coal in the ground, you have to offer something else and I don’t think the Saudis will leave that oil in the ground if they get nothing for it,” he said, citing green technology including CCS, as well as financial compensation.

Jakob was asked by the paper based on his “News & Views” piece in “Nature” entitled “Unburnable fossil-fuel reserves” commenting on a new study by Christophe McGlade and Paul Ekins also published in “Nature”. The later revealed the geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °C. 

Uncertainties about carbon capture and storage (CCS) is something Jakob also stressed when interviewed by the US science blog Fivethirtyeight. While CCS has potential, betting on it for large emissions cuts would be a dangerous gamble, he said. Furthermore, the Turkish paper “Yesil Gazete” also reported on Jakobs take of the new paper by McGlade and Ekins.

Here you can access the "Guardian" article. 

Here you can access the "Fivethirtyeight" article.

Here you can access the "Yesil Gazete" article.