Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 November 2020
Chapter 6 investigates the contradiction between expanded coal use and the climate policy regimes that emerged after the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, and the subsequent Kyoto Protocol. During this period coal mines and coal-fired power remained ‘locked in’ as the key foundation for energy security, and for economic growth. Struggles over climate policy in support of renewable energy did secure some changes, especially in Germany, but overall there was a steep increase in aggregate emissions from the coal sector. During this period, ‘business as usual’ entrenched the primacy of coal: international agencies such as the IEA predicted that climate policy would fail and coal would remain dominant. Yet coal was now in direct collision with climate stability, and this was profoundly disruptive of coal’s hegemony.