With an aim to modernise and create a sustainable pathway for the coal value chain, the World Coal Association (WCA) has unveiled a new brand identity, Future Coal.

WCA, a global platform for the coal sector, will cease after almost four decades and is transforming into a new identity after a call from the coal and allied sectors to modernise as well as unite under a common purpose.

“For too long, our global coal value chain has allowed anti-coal sentiment to dominate and fragment us, which has resulted in a lowering of the global coal IQ. This has diminished the capacity and progress of many vulnerable developing and emerging nations, but also now we see those of some developed nations,” FutureCoal Chief Executive Michelle Manook said at a media briefing.

FutureCoal may seem bold to some but for many it is simply representative of the reality the industry is confronted with. The total contribution of coal to the modern society and the growing global population should neither be dismissed nor disregarded, she added.

“Coal and more specifically, a wider definition of abated coal solutions exists and will be needed in any energy transition. This critical resource is a legitimate participant in both economic development and emissions abatement,” Manook said.

Sustainable coal stewardship

FutureCoal Founding Director and Vice Chairman Stepan Solzhenitsyn emphasised that this metamorphosis signifies a crucial juncture for the industry at large.

“It involves adopting a wider perspective, diversifying our energy mix, and actively incorporating technologies that aid in reducing emissions and enhancing efficiency. This entails investing in technologies that mitigate coal emissions and exploring uses beyond combustion, such as hydrogen production, ammonia for fertilisers, and support for industries like cement and steel. The possibilities are limitless, and we stand ready to capitalise on them,” he added.

The FutureCoal global alliance will embed this transformation through Sustainable Coal Stewardship (SCS).

The SCS platform allows coal-based economies like India and China and like-minded nations, and corporations to form collaborations to advance a progressive and technology and solutions-led international coal value chain industry.

Sustainable coal stewardship (SCS) provides a pathway which supports extracting more value per tonne of coal. Value is determined and measured in both economic and environmental benefits.

It describes an intent, approach and a broader definition of the abatement opportunities that the coal value chain has to modernise and transform their coal and allied businesses to meet and advance the needs of our global society.

SCS does not prescribe what abatement opportunities should be adopted by any nation or company. Rather, it supports the right to choose and establish a coal ecosystem which includes options of efficiency, process improvements, health and safety, emissions reduction including carbon abatement, waste management and recycling, land rehabilitation, technology advancement and innovation.