As the financial crisis continues, most people think of the job cuts and profit losses, but the global environment may be one of the biggest losers in the current economic downturn, Newsweek reports.
Low prices for oil has made it relatively more expensive to invest in green energy, but not for dirty coal – which accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. There is plenty of fuel and its prices has fallen about one third since las summer’s peak of $80 per ton. Dirty coal is now becoming cheaper relative to other fossil fuels, such as natural gas and oil.
The EU has no money for its plan to build a dozen “zero-emission plants,” and the European price for CO2 is too low to lure investors to this technology. In addition, the value of emission credits to attract investors to build clean-coal plants have also dropped, making green energy less attractive and dirty coal a likely winner in 2009.
In 2008, coal industry magnates, who stand to lose big if new pollution standards become law, reportedly spent between $35 million and $45 million on advertising this year pitching “clean coal” as a new environmentally friendly fuel.