The World Coal Association (WCA) called on the World Bank to recognize the vital role of coal in bringing electricity to people in developing and emerging economies. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global electricity from coal is expected to grow by around 33% to 2040. Demand for coal in Southeast Asia alone is expected to increase 4.8% a year through to 2035.

“The reason for this growth is that there are very real energy needs to be met,” said Benjamin Sporton, WCA chief executive. “1.3 billion people live in energy poverty. 2.7 billion people do not have clean cooking facilities and rely on dung and wood. Coal plays a critical role in bringing affordable, reliable electricity to hundreds of millions of people in developing and emerging economies, particularly across Asia.

“Rather than wishing away fossil fuels, the World Bank should be committing to supporting the wider deployment of 21st century coal technology—high efficiency, low emissions power generation and carbon capture, use and storage,” Sporton said.