Coal will continue to play a central role in global energy, USEA chief tells climate conference in Mexico

Mexico City — U.S. Energy Association Executive Director Barry Worthington told environmentalists and former Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Rajendra Pachauri at a major climate conference this week, that coal will be a part of the global energy mix for years to come.

“About 62 countries have plans to build 1600 coal-fired power plants globally, and many of those countries signed onto the Paris Agreement,” Worthington told attendees of the inaugural World Sustainable Development Forum in Mexico City.  

“Fossil fuels will continue to be part of the global energy mix, and coal will play a significant role,” Worthington said.

Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr. R.K. Pachauri, organized the Forum, which USEA helped sponsor.

The Forum brought together major climate change activists and environmentalists including: Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, leaders from Mexico’s energy ministry, and former prime ministers including, PM Yukio Hatoyama of Japan, Lawrence Gonzi of Malta, Jose Manuel Barroso of the EU, and Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana.

Leonardo DiCaprio and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent messages via video to the meeting.

“There is room for all types of energy generation, and we work closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to help expand the use of that energy in a cleaner, more sustainable way,” Worthington said.

USEA helps lead the U.S. Energy Department’s Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), a ministerial-level international climate change initiative whose goal is to advance global adoption of carbon capture utilization and storage technologies. Worthington leads the CSLF stakeholder process and acts as a liaison between the U.S. government, energy ministries and industry to share best practices, advance investment in, and adoption of, clean energy technology.

“Clean coal technology is a game changer for energy access, which can reduce energy poverty and help build global economies,” Worthington said.

“We all want to reduce emissions and manage our energy resources in a responsible way. That doesn’t mean an end to coal. It means an increase in efficiency, clean energy technology and identifying the right areas for the various types of energy,” he added.


If you would like to speak with Barry Worthington, please reach out to Dipka Bhambhani at[email protected] or (202) 321-3337. Please follow us on Twitter @USEnergyAssn

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