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Geology and geography: Subterranean forests

Coal is formed from vegetation at high temperatures and pressures, cut off from the air. The older the coal, the more carbon and energy it contains. Deposits are located in all continents.

By Heike Holdinghausen

Dossier: Coal Atlas - Facts and figures on a fossil fuel

Coal does not just kill the climate. In coal mines, terrible working conditions are rife. Accidents are commonplace. Still, EU member states subsidize coal related business with almost 10 billion euros per year. Our dossier with all the articles and infographics from our Coal Atlas.

Nature: A contaminated future

Open-cast mining destroys the landscape of both the pit and the surrounding area. Efforts to restore these areas often fail and the surface above the underground mines sinks. A chapter from the Coal Atlas.

By Eva Mahnke

Greenhouse gases: Spoiling the climate

Digging up coal and using it to generate electricity churns out emissions that intensify the greenhouse effect. Coal is one of the biggest sources of climate change. A chapter from the Coal Atlas.

By Eva Mahnke

Coal Atlas: All available dowloads

The Coal Atlas is available in a printed version, in PDF, epub, mobi format and as an online dossier. All graphics and texts are under the open Creative Commons license CC-BY-SA: You can share and adapt the work in compliance with these conditions. All graphics can be found in different formats and can be downloaded here.

United States: Past its prime

The US coal industry is losing market share to gas and renewables. The nation’s dirtiest fuel is giving way to cleaner alternatives. A chapter from the Coal Atlas.

By Tim McDonnell

Carbon capture and storage: Problems at depth

With the promise of “clean coal”, the industry intends to store carbon dioxide underground. However, this method of dealing with the climate crisis fails for both technical and economic reasons.

By Eva Mahnke

History: The bedrock of industry

Coal is the fuel that powered the Industrial Revolution and the transformation of economies and societies over the last two centuries. Its benefits have been huge – while the damage it has wrought was ignored for too long.

By Eva Mahnke

COP21: Paris

After the failed climate summit in Copenhagen 2009, governments of 196 countries meet again at COP 21 in Paris at the end of November to negotiate a globally binding climate agreement. In this ongoing dossier we pick up these and other aspects and complement them with regional analyses from our international offices.

Commentary: Transforming class struggle

One of the great merits of Jutta Kill's timely discussion paper is that it shows why current debates over the economic valuation of nature matter.

By Larry Lohmann

Could the Elections End Canada’s Carbon Capture?

Since taking office in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has focused on turning Canada into an energy superpower. The strategy behind this is the proposed doubling of the extraction of oil from Canada’s bituminous tar sands, located primarily in the western province of Alberta.

By Liane Schalatek

Europe Must be Strong on Climate Risk at COP21

If the EU is serious about an ambitious agreement at the UN talks in Paris, it must prioritise adaptation and resilience to climate risk in the negotiations, write Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung's Presidents Barbara Unmüßig and Ralf Fücks and E3G's Chief Executive Nick Mabey.

By Barbara Unmüßig, Ralf Fücks

The Green Peace Dividend- Why Green Technologies Matter for International Security

Violent conflicts and security crises around the world have many different causes and effects. The vast majority of them, however, are in one way or another related to energy policy. Yet making this link apparent to policy makers has been challenging. Experts from the foreign policy, security and energy communities have been reluctant to fully grasp the security implications of promising green energy technology and market developments.

By Rebecca Bertram, Charlotte Beck

Save our soils!

Healthy soils are crucial to human nutrition and the fight against hunger. But worldwide 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost annually. Barbara Unmüßig calls attention to the growing threat to one of Earth’s most important resources.

By Barbara Unmüßig

Radical Goals for Sustainable Development

The coming set of Sustainable Development Goals will seek to protect ecosystems, conserve resources, and, as with the Millennium Development Goals, lift millions of people out of poverty. Now that solid legal ground must be developed further.

By Barbara Unmüßig

Key Note: Financialization of nature and resource protection

The conference “Legal Remedies for Resource Equity”, whick took place on September 15th, focused on the use of environmental law to prevent the negative impacts of global resource extraction. A documentation of Barbara Unmüßig's keynote and presentations of the speaker's corners.

By Barbara Unmüßig

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