On Tuesday, the US government announced it would stop investing coal power plants around the world in an effort to combat climate change. Here are the details from Reuters:

The U.S. Treasury said it would only support funding for coal plants in the world’s poorest countries if they have no other efficient or economical alternative for their energy needs.

For richer countries, it would only support coal plants that deploy carbon capture and sequestration, an advanced technology for reducing emissions that is not yet commercially viable. That essentially means the United States would limit coal funding to only the world’s poorest for now.

The US is currently the second-largest emitter of CO2 in the world, behind China, but gets a relatively small amount of its electrical energy from coal, percentage-wise. (Click the graphic to view a larger image.) 

The Reuters story also highlights the problematic trade-offs between stymieing climate change and encouraging economic growth:  (more…)