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Fossil fuels and clean, plentiful energy in the 21st century: the example of coal

Author

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  • Jaccard, Mark

    () (School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver)

Abstract

Many people believe we must quickly wean ourselves from fossil fuels to save the planet from environmental catastrophe, wars and economic collapse. However, we have the technological capability to use fossil fuels without emitting climate-threatening greenhouse gases or other pollutants. The natural transition from conventional oil and gas to unconventional oil, unconventional gas and coal for producing electricity, hydrogen and cleaner-burning fuels will decrease energy dependence on politically unstable regions. In addition, our vast fossil fuel resources, perhaps especially coal, are likely to remain among the cheapest sources of clean energy for the next century and perhaps longer, which is critical for the economic and social development of the world's poorer countries. By buying time for increasing energy efficiency, developing renewable energy technologies and making nuclear power more attractive, fossil fuels will play a key role in humanity's quest for a sustainable energy system.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaccard, Mark, 2007. "Fossil fuels and clean, plentiful energy in the 21st century: the example of coal," EIB Papers 4/2007, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:eibpap:2007_004
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    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p1:p:242-249 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainable energy systems; clean fossil fuels;

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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