Coal is not the answer to tackling climate change

Press release, 14 November 2017
In response to the US administration advocating 'clean' fossil fuels at the UN climate talks for helping development, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

"In holding this event the US administration confirms how sidelined it is. Fossil fuels belong to a past that powered the climate destruction which the world is working to reverse. There is no such thing as clean coal or clean fossil fuels. Most Americans know this as action from business and local governments proves. 

"The way to help poor countries is making sure key climate finance reaches the women, children and men on the frontline who need it most. Not by fuelling countries' addiction to destructive coal, oil and gas. Avoiding building new coal-fired power plants and phasing out existing ones is crucial to keeping the world's climate within safe limits."

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Beth Herzfeld (, IIED's head of media, on +44 (0)7557 658 482. IIED is available at the climate talks in Bonn, Germany from 13-17 November

Notes to editors

  • IIED estimates that less than 10 per cent of the US$17 billion climate finance committed from international climate funds by 2016 were prioritised for local-level activities. Committing these funds to every level – national, regional and local – is key. It is critical that the imbalance is addressed and more of this money is channelled to the local level. For more information, see 'Delivering real change: getting international climate finance to the local level'
  • IIED statement: Urgent need for UN climate talks to get money to world's poor and vulnerable
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions

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