The 2017 United Nations annual climate change summit in Morocco, focused strongly on coal plants. Francois Holland, one of the main speakers, stated that by 2023, France will close all of its coal fired power plants. He stated that President Obama was instrumental in the success of the Paris agreement, and made the point that by 2050, the planet must have carbon neutrality. He was also very happy to announce that with regard to his country, coal will no longer be part of its energy resources in 6 to 7 years time. This is excellent news indeed, and there are also hopeful plans from other countries as well. Furthermore, regardless of help from the US, all the current climate pack's signatories will stand by their pledges. For example: by 2025, Britain is due to close every coal fired power plant, and by 2050, Germany hopes to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gas by up to 95%.
In regard to having a low carbon mix of different energy forms, France is already a forerunner. It now receives three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, thanks to its wise decision to invest a large amount of funds into this form of energy several decades ago. In point of fact, it generates such a large quantity of energy, that it is able to export a great deal of it to nearby countries, and it receives an income of approximately $3.2 billion a year for doing so. And this income will rise as the price of this form of energy rises.
Unfortunately, now that there is a change in the US presidency, there will be a change in regard to America helping to tackle climate change as well. Trump is a climate change denier, and as such, helping to tackle it will take a back seat. This is particularly ironic, as America is responsible for around 30% of the world's pollution. The future President Trump and his cohorts are a clear and present danger to the extremely serious environmental threats that are facing the planet.
They are also pro-fracking, and huge coal fans. When coal is burned, it is very bad for the climate, peoples' health and well-being, and the environment. It is the worst form of energy in that it generates more toxic particulates and carbon dioxide per gram than burning coal.
The good news is that globally speaking, coal usage is declining fairly quickly for various reasons. These include: the realization that both environmentally and economically, the damage that coal is generating all over the planet is being seen too big a concern; and the reality that renewable sources of energy are becoming more common and as such, are becoming more affordable.
Third world nations such as India which are going through development phases, are unfortunately, still seeing great advantages in coal fired plants as it still offers a cheap energy source. Yet in the foreseeable future, the majority of countries will find that cleaner forms of energy are the way forward.